Friday 21 October 2016

My dismay over gay bullying in the playground, by Four Weddings star Callow

Published 12/07/2016 | 00:06

Actor Simon Callow fears children are picking up anti-gay sentiments from their parents
Actor Simon Callow fears children are picking up anti-gay sentiments from their parents

Four Weddings And A Funeral star Simon Callow has voiced his concern about children bullying their gay classmates in school playgrounds.

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The writer and director, 67, who recently married his 33-year-old partner Sebastian Fox in the Greek islands, said he feared children were picking up anti-gay sentiments from their parents.

Speaking to the Radio Times shortly after the shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, he said: "We're not in the Promised Land. There's a great deal of bullying and prejudice; some of the worst incidences of anti-gay feeling are in the playground.

"That's very, very, very dismaying and strange. Children don't, generally speaking, bully their black fellow pupils, the children of Poles or Italians or whatever, which they certainly used to do in my day.

"Now, they very steadily and determinedly bully their gay fellow pupils. One can only assume they get it from their parents."

The actor, who is best known as gay reveller Gareth in Richard Curtis's film Four Weddings And A Funeral, said he believed resistance to gay marriage by conservative elements of society was "one of the great paradoxes of our times".

Callow, who said he has received his fair share of hate mail about his sexuality, told the magazine: " They should have been the ones supporting it, unless they actually say homosexuals are indefensible and must be put out into the middle of the ocean and drowned. I'm sure there are some people who think that."

Callow will next be seen as Henry Palmer in The Rebel, a sitcom based on a column in the Oldie about a pensioner who pines for the social rebellion of his youth.

The full interview appears in the Radio Times, which is on sale now.

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