Katharine Hepburn

Celebs coming out: A changing landscape

Celebs coming out: A changing landscape

Celebrities have been coming out in droves lately, in most cases either quietly or posthumously. (You don’t even have to be alive anymore to become out of the closet!)

As someone who’s always fought for truth in celebrity reporting and honesty on the part of big-name subjects, I’m thrilled at the avalanche of people saying they’re gay and it’s OK. It’s helped create an atmosphere where homosexuality and bisexuality aren’t dirty secrets anymore; they’re perfectly reportable aspects of public figures’ biographies. In a world where celebs talk at length about their private lives — and the media scrutinizes them even more — it always seemed absurd to leave that one glaring aspect out of the picture, as if that’s where the privacy line should be drawn for taste’s sake.

Katharine, Jesse and Screwball Comedy in THE SOCIAL NETWORK

Katharine, Jesse and Screwball Comedy in THE SOCIAL NETWORK

I have a friend and colleague here at Ohio University who stopped me in the hall last week: “THE SOCIAL NETWORK…?” — I had just seen it — “a Screwball Comedy without the comedy.” That makes it just screwball, right? I’d agree. I cannot wrap my mind around what the freaking bubble-dy blitz is all about. According to my colleague, Professor Louis-Georges Schwartz, Film Studies, Jesse Eisenberg stands in nicely for Katherine Hepburn, who is typically read as male in classic Screwball construction, only to be rightly feminized by such a film’s conclusion. Jesse as Katharine? Feminized from the start, Justin Timberlake’s bitch by the middle, his own version of the lonely and heart broken pimp by the end (read business card, “I’m CEO … bitch!”), Jessie certainly has the same Hepburn-esque wise-cracking snaps firing from his mouth, rat-tat-tat-tat-tat.