Queer as Folk actor finds commercial work drying up

Scott Lowell, the actor who portrays the genial accountant Ted in Showtime’s gay-saturated series Queer as Folk, is finding that becoming famous for playing a gay character is causing commercial offers to fade away, according to 365Gay.com. Prior to appearing in the hit show, Lowell was acting in a dozen or so commercials a year for a variety of clients. Most notably, he did a campaign for Budget Rent a Car last year that went on to win a variety of awards, including a Golden Lion and a Clio. When the company went to produce a second wave of commercials, however, Lowell was no longer a part of the project. Budget claimed that the actor was, variously, “unavailable,” “difficult to work with,” or “wanted too much money.” Lowell’s agent, Lawrence Har of Abrams Artists Agency, claims that “a lot of things were not adding up,” so he called the agency and said he “knew what they were doing, and they changed their whole mood—it was like night and day—and they said they wanted him.” Pryce Boeye, senior director of national marketing at Budget, said, “We were very pleased with Scott’s performance, so much so that we wanted him back, and the last thing we wanted to do was mess with the chemistry.” When it came time to cast, though, he said Lowell’s agent “came back with a figure that was a lot more than we were willing to pay.” For his part, Lowell stated, “When they did come back with an offer…they low-balled me on the money. After they were spreading lies about me, which was insulting, and now the money was insulting, my instincts were not to do it.” It turns out this is hardly the first time this has happened. Openly gay actor John Slomin, who played half of the gay couple in the groundbreaking 1994 ad for Swedish furniture retailer IKEA, claims that after the ad aired, “I didn’t book another network spot for three years. Before that, I used to do four to 10 commercials a year.” The IKEA ad ran only for three weeks and was pulled after bomb threats were made to the stores.

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