Words: Steve Brown
Laura Dern says she lost a year’s work after featuring in Ellen’s coming out episode.
The Jurassic Park star played Susan, a confident lesbian character in ‘The Puppy Episode’ of Ellen DeGeneres popular TV series which saw the titular character come out as lesbian.
Although the moment was groundbreaking for LGBTQ representation, Dern recently told Vulture that she faced a lot of backlash and was unable to find work because she played a lesbian.
She said: “I was doing successful independent movies, and, only months before that, I was in Jurassic Park, the most successful movie ever.
“So it was like, you’re being offered this, you’re being offered that – and it just stopped. Which is kind of wild.”
Dern also revealed she was told by Hollywood advisors – who were reportedly gay themselves – to not take the role.
She continued: “A lot of people in my life really worried. And I was like, ‘This is ridiculous.’
“This is where I grew up in a bubble and didn’t realize we weren’t there yet or something.”
As well as losing jobs, Dern was also involved in a bomb threat while on set with Oprah and it was then she realised how big the situation had become.
“We all spent the next couple of years really struggling in work and safety,” she said.
“It was radical to experience that. It was the only time I ever experienced having to have full security detail.”