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Gayism

May 10, 1987

Robert Townsend takes some well-deserved satiric jabs at the television and movie industries' stereotyping of blacks in "Hollywood Shuffle" ("Hollywood's Form of Racism," by Jack Mathews, April 28).

But for a film maker arguing for greater sensitivity, he himself has some lessons to learn.

In three scenes of his film, he ridicules gay people in action, characterization and dialogue. Gay men are shown stereotypically as a hairdresser and a movie set dressing attendant and, of course, as sexually interested in a non-gay man.

We've been seeing these stereotypes for years--and, incredibly, we still are, despite 18 years of Gay Liberation. Isn't it time that gay people also be presented with sensitivity and appear in roles as doctors, lawyers and such, which TV's Huxtables have made increasingly common for blacks?

Next to the portrayal of gay people by American film and television, that of blacks has been absolutely exemplary.

SCOTT GIANTVALLEY

Los Angeles

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