The former "Queer Eye" star advised young actors to stay in the closet if they want to be successful in Hollywood.
Tonight on OutQ, SIRIUS XM's channel for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender community (SIRIUS channel 109 and XM channel 98), The Derek & Romaine Show presents 'I Want My Gay TV: The LGBT History Of Television.' And amongst other revelations, are some very candid comments from "Queer Eye's" former 'Culture Vulture,' Jai Rodriguez.
Jai, who re-emerged on the pop culture scene last night playing himself as a reporter in Lady Gaga & Beyonce's much talked about "Telephone" music video, expressed to co-hosts Derek Hartley and Romaine Patterson that he was always uncomfortable in his role on Bravo's popular "Queer Eye" franchise (which began in 2003), because his role was so undefined.
"My experience of doing 'Queer Eye' was probably different than the other four guys," he explained. "The other guys were really experts working in their field for such a long time and this really gave them an opportunity to shine. My experience on the other hand was kind of depressive the first couple of years, because unfortunately, I was doing things I wasn't used to doing. And that put a little bit of a dark cloud on me at the height of the show, which was kind of a difficult thing for me…. It was a little difficult to sit across from Oprah and Ellen and Jay Leno and really sell myself as this cultural savant."
Moreover, Jai, who is an actor and singer by trade, told Derek & Romaine that he advises young actors to stay in the closet if they want to be successful in Hollywood.
CLICK HERE to hear Jai talk about his experiences in coming out.
"In Hollywood, casting people know who's gay. They may not choose to talk about it. That person might not be quote unquote out but their friends and family know and I'm not necessarily sure it's necessary for them to go on the cover of a magazine um – and potentially ruin their career if they're living a happy life and not denying it. There are a lot of people who don't deny it, they just choose not to talk about it," he explained.
CLICK HERE to hear Jai talk about his advice for young actors.
"If you come out of the closet, you better pray you're a Neil Patrick Harris where you're on a successful show and proven already that you can do the gig as, you know, as it's supposed to be done. I think if you come out of the closet you are taking a chance. Unless it's absolutely necessary, I just – I don't see the merit in it," Jai continued.
"I Want My Gay TV: The LGBT History of Television" is a special four-hour presentation documenting LGBT images and people spanning 60 years of television. With more than 20 interviews with the people who were there, the first two hours encompass the history of television from Milton Berle cross-dressing to Billy Crystal on "SOAP," the deaths of Rock Hudson and Pedro Zamora, as well as Ellen DeGeneres coming out and the recent emergence of gay TV networks. The third hour is a live panel discussion about the current state of LGBT people and images, followed by a fourth and final hour of caller comments about the special and additional bonus stories expanding on the first two hours.
After the documentary, SIRIUS XM host and documentary producer Derek Hartley will moderate a panel discussion including special guests Rashad Robinson of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), Barry Monoush from the Paley Center for Media, and Jane Velez-Mitchell from HLN. The four-hour special will conclude with Derek and Romaine taking calls from SIRIUS XM listeners across the country. The program will re-broadcast on OutQ throughout this coming weekend.
"Television is a place for the LGBT community to learn their own history, and these personal stories reveal how important television programming has been to the community," Derek Hartley explains. "With more than 20 interviews, 'I Want My Gay TV' reveals for the first time ever how the shows we watched changed our lives."
Derek Hartley and co-host Romaine Patterson received a 2009 GLAAD Award for their documentary special, "The Laramie Project Ten Years Later: The Lasting Legacy of Matthew Shepard."
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