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Dan Bucatinsky on LGBTQ representation in TV & film

Larry King NowFeb 17 '17

Dan Bucatinsky – who won an Emmy for his role as James Novak on ‘Scandal’ – says he’s happy to see gay characters in media whose identities are informed by who they are as human beings, rather than solely for their sexual orientation.


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Larry King: You won an Emmy for your role on ‘Scandal,’ 2013. Did it mean more that you were recognized for playing a gay character, do you think?

Dan Bucatinsky: That’s an interesting question. The Emmy didn’t. I think that the opportunity to play a character like that, who was so multi-layered, who had such an interesting backstory and relationship and ambition, that to me meant the most. Because if you think back to the entertainment industry 20 years ago, where the gay characters were always the neighbor that would storm in with a funny, witty saying and then swish out, for years and years and years, the only descriptive word that could be described for a character would be that they would be gay. So so-and-so enters, he’s gay, enough said. Well we’ve now entered a time, and for me that was the thing I was the most excited about and proud of, was to play a character who happened to be gay, but who was ambitious, who wanted to be a father, who wanted to be a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, who was married to the Chief of Staff. There were so many interesting, intriguing things about this particular character, James Novak. Not the least of which was that he was gay. Yes, I’m gay in real life, I’m married, I have kids, there were parallels, it was exciting to be able to depict someone close to myself as well, in a very open way.

Larry King: You’re a big advocate for the LGBT community, right?

Dan Bucatinsky: I am, yes.

Larry King: Are there enough LGBT characters on television?

Dan Bucatinsky: Here’s the thing, I mean that’s the kind of question that I feel like was one we really had to battle for many years ago. And now, we’re getting to a point where we don’t even need to be counting, I’m hoping, that we don’t need to be keeping some kind of score about the number of characters of a particular group. I feel like characters need to tell a story, and if they happen to be of a particular race or ethnicity or sexual orientation, then that’s a part of who they

are.

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