“No openly gay man has ever won the Oscar; I wonder if that is prejudice or chance.” Ian McKellen
“If you are trying to have a career, as a black or Hispanic actor in a state – California – where white people are now the minority, and you are being judged by an Academy where the vast majority are white, male, middle-aged and old … well, perhaps that is the wrong yardstick.”
McKellen expressed sympathy with black actors and actresses who were angry that they were "being ill-treated and underestimated" (via):
“The fact that black people feel underrepresented in studio movies and big movies…well, it’s what women thought for a long time. It’s what gay people like myself still think. And it’s a legitimate complaint and the Oscars has become the focus of those worries. So I sympathize.”
His response to Tom Hanks, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Sean Penn having won best actor Oscars for playing gay men:
"How clever, how clever. What about giving me one for playing a straight man?" (via).
“My speech has been in two jackets … ‘I’m proud to be the first openly gay man to win the Oscar.’ I’ve had to put it back in my pocket twice.”
photographs via and via