In a new piece for Vulture, out actor Colton Haynes goes into details about the homophobia, sexual harassment, and exploitation he, and other young actors faced in the 2000s.
Haynes, who has starred in shows like Teen Wolf, Arrow, and American Horror Story: Cult, told the story of how he first came to Los Angeles after he graduated high school, and in 2007, got his first real meeting with a management company.
When he met with his prospective manager, one of the owners of the company asked him, "Why are you using your hands so much when you talk? And your posture is too...loose. We're definitely going to have to change your mannerisms. They're a little too...theater." Haynes understood him to mean "too gay."
Unfortunately, his story only gets darker from there. Haynes also detailed the sexual harassment and exploitation he faced as a young, gay man trying to break into the industry.
Apart from the normal objectification and sexualization young actors face, Haynes also talked about specific things his management company would do.
One thing he talked about was the so-called "sexy-scene night" in his acting class. On this night, young actors were forced to strip naked and perform sex scenes together, simulating real sex.
Before his first "sexy-scene night," Haynes met up with his scene partner, who was a veteran of the class. He detailed how that night went, saying the other actor assured Haynes that they didn't actually have to have sex, but according to the script, he'd be "mounting" Haynes and "thrusting in and out" of him, and the two would be making out.
"So why don't we get it out of the way and make out now? So we're both comfortable," the actor asked Haynes, adding, "I'm straight, just so you know." Then the actor grabbed him by the back of his head and kissed him longer than he was expecting, leading him to wonder if it was just acting or something more.
The actual "sexy-scene night" that Haynes describes in the piece is so much worse, and anything other than sexy. Haynes summed up another young actress as having to pretend "to be penetrated in front of a class of actors for the sake of impressing her manager." Haynes also had to do the same thing.
After his first, humiliating "sexy-scene night," which he had to close his eyes through, Haynes was once again, told he was acting "too gay" in the scene which involved gay sex.
During his time at that management company, Haynes was also told to deliver paperwork to an agent wearing "a cowboy hat and an unbuttoned western shirt."
Eventually, that manager dropped Haynes, again, because his voice, his mannerisms, and he, himself, were "too gay." When he asked his manager what he should do next, the manager encouraged him to sign up for RentBoy.com, a sex worker site.
Hopefully, now that Haynes has spoken out about these issues, fewer actors will have to face them.
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