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The openly gay Oscar-nominated director of Precious has spoken out against homophobia in the African American community.
Lee Daniels made the comments while promoting his new television drama, Empire, which he co-created. The series is about an African American music and entertainment family business and features a prominent gay storyline.
“Homophobia is rampant in the African American community, and men are on the DL [in the closet],” he commented at a Television Critics Association press event on Saturday.
“They don’t come out, because your priest says, your pastor says, mama says, your next-door neighbour says, your homie says, your brother says, your boss says [it’s wrong].
“And they are killing African American women. They are killing our women. So I wanted to blow the lid off more on homophobia in my community,” he said.
Daniels suggested that the phenomenon of closeted or bisexual African American men living secret double lives because of the stigma attached to gay sex had assisted in the spread of HIV in their community.
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