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The False Equivalencies of Jodie Foster

The False Equivalencies of Jodie Foster

I’m still sorting out my feelings about Jodie Foster’s speech at the Golden Globes, but annoyance continues to reign supreme. She’s played this coy card for decades, and gotten away with it mainly because a) the media of yore were happy to enable her, particularly because of their collective fear of Foster’s iron-fisted publicist Pat Kingsley and b) anyone who has a presidential assassin use you as inspiration rightfully gets a lifetime “I want my privacy” pass. 

But now that Foster’s finally saying something concrete, she offers the same bullshit false equivalencies that famous closet cases always love to fall back upon. Do we know every intimate detail of the life of David Hyde-Pierce? Has Jane Lynch’s life turned into a reality show? Is every private element of Neil Patrick Harris’s personal business being transmitted into our homes 24/7? No.

But for Foster to imply that the only choices are refusing to come out of the closet or becoming Honey Boo Boo is at best disingenuous and at worst an insult to the many artists who have been much braver than Foster, and who have stood up and been counted at a moment in our cultural history when famous people’s speaking the truth of their lives has been an essential element in the battle for equal rights.

And don’t give me that “everyone comes out when they’re ready” excuse; Foster, by her own admission, has been out to the people in her life for years. She has very intentionally remained publicly enigmatic, well past the point when being more forthcoming would have had the slightest impact on her private or her professional life. There was a time when having someone of her stature speak out could have made a huge difference, and she chose to spend that time being silent.

So you’ll forgive me if I’m not “moved” or “impressed” by Jodie Foster’s “bravery.” If anything, this is too little, too late.


Alonso Duralde is the author of 101 Must-See Movies for Gay Men (Advocate Books) and Have Yourself a Movie Little Christmas (Limelight Editions). He is the film critic for The Wrap/Reuters and has written about film for Movieline, Salon,, and HitFix, among many other publications.

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