LGBTQ Activist & Comedian Chris Kelly On Diversifying Today's Hollywood

| June 7, 2019 | People

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CHRIS KELLY
WRITER & DIRECTOR

Since appearing on the comedy horizon less than 10 years ago, Chris Kelly has been blazing a very unique and funny trail. Kelly is a two-time WGA Award winner, a seven-time Emmy AwardTM- nominated writer and a Film Independent Spirit Award-nominated director (Other People), who was the first openly gay Head Writer on Saturday Night Live. His current projects include the must watch, critically-acclaimed Comedy Central series The Other Two, and an adaptation of Adam Silvera’s queer YA novel They Both Die at the End into an HBO series.

How did you catch the comedy bug? It was a combination of things. From a young age I was obsessed with SNL and Seinfeld, and was always trying to understand why they were so good. I also feel my sense of humor was a defense mechanism—if everyone knows I’m the gay kid, being funny and smart was a way of protecting myself.

What do you feel are the most pressing issues for the LGBTQ community in Hollywood? If I watch a show with no LGBTQ characters, I’m immediately over it. Though we are doing better today by leaps and bounds, it’s still not enough. I want to see more LGBTQ characters, played by LGBTQ actors, who are fully formed people, and don’t have to be “The One” who represents the whole community.

How do we ensure greater LGBTQ representation in our culture? Hiring diversity brings diversity. Whether it’s LGBTQ, women, people from different cultural backgrounds or races, tapping into a diversity of voices brings fresh points of view.

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Photography by: Mathias Clamer, Image Design by Brooke Mason Studio