I've been way off in my Teen Wolf coverage, foolishly focusing on Tyler Posey, when, after watching the first couple of episodes, it's clear that although he may be THE star, he's not A star. That would Colton Haynes, who plays meanboy Jackson on the series. Now, I would love to latch onto Colton and drool over him daily and post pic after of him and generally promote him to high Hell – JUST LOOK AT THAT FACE! – unfortunately I can't. I have a problem with him, and so should you.
See, early in his career, Colton posed for some sweetly homorrific photos in the now-defunct XY magazine (for gay teens), kissing boys in a jacuzzi and posing shirtless in a locker room, relatively tame stuff when you compare it to Kardsahian water sports videos and the like. So where's the problem, you ask? Well, now that he's on a big show, he's hired a pitbull lawyer to try and "de-gay" his internet presence, by scouring the web and threatening to sue any blogger that runs pictures from said shoot. When DoorQ published one of the pics he recieved a cease and desist order saying the pictures were "sordid, grossly perverted, and can only appeal to those with the most prurient of interests. That you would publicize such content is disturbing. Your election to continue doing so is criminal. The public disclosure of, and wrongful intrusion into one's private activities, constitutes an invasion of privacy and is actionable in most jurisdictions, including California." Except, of course, they weren't private pictures, they'd already been published in a national magazine, and they constitute fair use. I would love to see a blogger with money and clout publish the pictures and take this on. Someone with Nick denton's legal team, perhaps, or Harvey Levin's or Arianna Huffington's.
The bigger issue is how Colton, and more specifically Colton's handlers, could think that alienating the gays will HELP his career. Don't they get that we are the kingmakers? That without us Taylor Lautner, Zac Efron, and Joe Jonas wouldn't be the breakout superstars they are? They succeed because they are equal opportunity sex symbols, appealing to little girls and pervy old men alike. Colton doesn't quite grasp that until the gays bestow their kitschy glamour on you, you are stuck in the Teen Beat ghetto. Ask Sterling Knight, Cody Simpson, and the Sprouse twins. You need THE GAY STAMP OF APPROVAL, people.
Whether Colton is or isn't gay is completely beside the point. It's his apparent gay shame that's the slap in the face.
Imagine if Jake Gyllenhaal tried to deny Brokeback happened. Like Colton, we don't really care if Jake is gay or not. We're never going to sleep with him. But for 2 1/2 hours he lets us pretend he's gay, and for that we'll ALWAYS love him. If he suddenly took that away from us, we'd have a problem. That's what Colton is doing.
He's taking away the fantasy of Colton Haynes.
Colton dangled a carrot in front of us, then snatched it away. He led us to believe that he was either gay, or so incredibly gay-friendly that putting himself in gay situations for our gay pleasure was fine by him. Now he's decided that in order to get mainstream acceptance he needs to whitewash that part of himself, and that's what's so ugly. It's homophobia. It may be self-loathing, self-directed homophobia, but it's every bit as insidious as Tracy Morgan's. It comes down to the implication that gay is bad. Not only bad, but "sordid" and "grossly perverted." He needs to understand what a terrible message he's sending.
Colton needs to do some damage control ASAP. He needs to fire the lawyers and get a gay-friendly PR person who will do some major ass-kissing on his behalf. He needs to stop the DENYING DENYING DENYING a la Blake Lively and say either "Yep, I'm gay," or "I was experimenting" or "You know what, it was a modeling gig and nothing more and it's no big deal. Enjoy the pictures."
Until then, I'm not comfortable promoting Colton, and I would ask other bloggers to join me in boycotting him. And maybe Teen Wolf, too. I don't know. I haven't thought that far ahead yet.