McKellen: Agents Keep Stars in Closet

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com November 06 2010 11:45 AM ET

Sir Ian McKellen suggests the paucity of openly gay actors in Hollywood is due to advice of their agents, according to an interview with website PopEater.

"I don't think any gay person is going to be happy and bring joy to themselves and other people unless they can be honest about their sexuality, and if other people don't like that honesty, that's a comment on them and not on the person who is being honest," McKellen says during an interview at the Savannah Film Festival, where the veteran actor was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

"That might seem a harsh thing to say to a young actor who is being advised by an agent to stay in the closet," he says. "There are no openly gay stars in Hollywood, so someone is telling them to shut up."

McKellen, the 71-year-old star of the X-Men and Lord of the Rings blockbuster franchises, came out as gay at age 49.