"[H]ollywood is a pretty accurate reflection of the way most of the world is looking. And the fact that they can have actors who are openly gay... is not something you should thank or congratulate Hollywood for. You thank and congratulate the culture that Hollywood recognizes, accepts, things like that.... Hollywood is the thermometer that is thrust up the anus of the world's sensibility."
Actor, activst and filmmaker Stephen Fry who just premiered his latest documentary series, "Out There," on BBC Two.
Fry's newest traveling investigation concentrates on the lives of gay people around the world. While it begins and ends at the homes of Elton John and Neil Patrick Harris, there is quite a lot of socio-political territory covered in between.
Fry confronts a couple of religious political figures in Uganda, and also visits with some gay people facing persecution in that country. He skewers the alleged Christian leaders for their outlandish claims of gay penises falling off, women suffering infections from carrots, and the popular claim that gay adults recruit children.
In a clip widely seen on Tuesday, Fry also visits the Los Angeles office of Joseph Nicolosi, the founder of NARTH, to examine his beliefs that gays can be converted to heterosexual orientations. By his own skewed estimation, Nicolosi claimed only a third of his patients had been "cured." Fry also spoke with a gay man who suffered through 1-1/2 years of "ex-gay" mental exercises that proved to be wholly ineffective.
For his own part, Fry has lived a rather public life -- not only coming out as gay, but also as an atheist and as someone who suffers from terrible bouts of suicidal cyclothymia. In this episode of "Out There," Fry continues raising eyebrows with his personal beliefs and leanings. He said he had "no sympathy" for a gay person telling a teenager that they must accept that they are gay any more than someone saying the opposite. And, during a heated argument with one ridiculous preacher, he responded:
"Why are you obsessed with anuses? I'm interested in men I fall in love with. Not with anuses.... I've never had it.... Most gays don't.... All you can think of is anal sex."
The second half of "Out There" airs on BBC Two on Wednesday night. In it, Fry visits Brazil, India. and Russia (where he likens Vladimir Putin to Dobby, the House Elf).