Before this week, I don't believe I had written even a single word about the new MTV series "Teen Wolf." Not here on Airlock Alpha, not even on our sister site Rabid Doll, although both of these sites have editors that are not me, and they could've written something about it.
Yet on Wednesday, there I was, writing about "Teen Wolf." But not exactly in the way I would've liked. Instead, I had to talk about a narrow-minded attorney who decided a heavy hand was the way to go to remove what some might consider "embarrassing" photos of actor Colton Haynes.
It's sad, because it seems like Haynes has really gained some steam in building a solid acting career after spending his teen years as a model. After guest roles in a variety of shows, he had a regular role in the one-season ABC wonder "The Gates" and landed a role in MTV's "Teen Wolf."
But apparently some of Haynes' past caught up with him. He did a photo shoot about five years go for the gay youth magazine XY. The photos -- many of which have found their way to the Web -- feature Haynes as an older teenager hanging out with another boy, mostly goofing off. The pictures, however, do lead to a hot tub where Haynes and this other boy -- shoulder-deep in water -- share a passionate kiss.
With Haynes finding some celebrity with his rising stardom, of course you're going to have people behind him (whether it be a network, a publicist, or whatever) saying, "Oh my God! We can't have that!"
Heaven forbid that an actor serve as a role model for the gay and lesbian community, especially for gay and lesbian youth. Is making out in a hot tub the right message to send? Probably not the greatest message. But the heart and soul of it is there, which is it's OK to be who you are.
I don't think it's fair for anyone to say that Colton Haynes must be gay because he posed for a gay photo shoot. He was a model, and models are put in situations that are sometimes real, but most of the time fiction. Was this real or fiction? I don't know. And I don't care.
But if I were a celebrity publicist and worried that the small-minded people who have issues with gays and lesbian people might create a backlash against someone who posed in some gay-themed photos, I would stick with the paragraph above. I certainly wouldn't do what Bryan Freedman did, and send one of the most disgusting cease and desist letter I have ever read.
And trust me, I have seen some interesting cease and desist letters in my time (but that's another column for another day).
In this letter, Freedman -- who is considered one of the entertainment industry's "power lawyers" according to The Hollywood Reporter -- decided to take a heavy hand. He stated these pictures circulating the Web were "private" (they were not, they were published in a one-time popular niche magazine), that they were "pornographic" (they were not pornographic even by Pat Robertson's definition -- I've seen worse on MTV, and I don't even watch the channel!).
Freedman's other issue was that Haynes was under 18 when the photos were shot. That, he said, created an issue all by itself. But does it? A source tells Airlock Alpha that Haynes' own mother signed the release form for the photo shoot, and had final say in what was used.
Of all the photos, maybe one might have raised an eyebrow -- one where Haynes reaches into his underwear. Is he doing something dastardly? I don't know. Is it pornographic? Only if you count Wil Wheaton's leech-on-the-sac scene from "Stand By Me" as porn. How do we know that Haynes wasn't simply recreating that "touching" moment?
In the end, if Haynes had been making out with a girl in the hot tub, we would never hear anything from Freedman or anyone else about this. There would be no chatter, no discussion, no angry letters from lawyers. It's because he was kissing another boy that has a few select people in an uproar.
And I'm tired of it. We live in a country now where more people support not only gay rights, but gay marriage than those that oppose. Most people now believe that the gay agenda might include equal rights and acceptance, but does not include recruiting straight people into the rainbow way of life.
Yet, we have this garbage out there. Who cares if Colton Haynes is gay or if Colton Haynes is straight? If he is a good actor and is appearing in something I want to see, then I will watch it and judge Haynes on his acting merits, not on who he is attracted to.
Why do we have to place these boxes around people, and slap a radioactive sticker on it? I have nothing but the utmost respect for actors who aren't afraid of that box. Richard Harmon is one of those shining examples. The former "Caprica" and current "The Killing" actor starred this year in "Judas Kiss" where he plays an out and proud film student. Was he worried that people might identify him as an actor as gay? Not at all. (And for the record, Richard is quite straight, and has a very beautiful and wonderful girlfriend, fellow "Caprica" actress Genevieve Buechner).
And then you have Neil Patrick Harris who is not afraid to play straight.
So it goes both ways. Is there still fallout for gay actors and entertainers? I'm sure there is.
But let's find a better way to approach this without resorting to the heavy-handedness of accusing gay news outlets like DoorQ of publishing so-called private, pornographic photos that are neither private nor pornographic.
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