I have been a Jodie Foster fan since I saw The Silence of the Lambs as a young teen, and I have followed the very private actress’s career since. She seems like one of the most genuine people in Hollywood, and I have a feeling that she is a fantastic mother. I remember watching an interview she did when she made Nim’s Island, and how she said she wanted to make something that her kids could watch, and thinking, “I bet she’s a great mom.”
And that’s what I felt when I watched her speech upon winning the Cecile Be. DeMille Award. Much of it sounded a bit defensive about being a child star—her later allusion to Honey Boo Boo made me feel like it might have been denouncing such reality shows that are highly inappropriate for kids—but there was quite a bit about how much she loves her family, and that was the portion of her speech that moved me most and had me in tears.
That said, the media is flying off the handle because Foster officially came out as a lesbian in her speech as well. She hasn’t exactly been living in secret—she had referred to her partner as her love before several years ago—but she is simply a very private person. The fact that she chose to do this on television last night, even with such a winding delivery and a few sarcastic jokes thrown in, shows courage, and I admire her for it.
Those who are criticizing Foster’s delivery, however, ought to think about how it reflects her as a person. It felt genuine and heartfelt, as if it reflected Foster herself rather than a scripted press release that many stars opt for. I’m not criticizing their choices, either—those press conferences have made a big difference in the LGBT community and I applaud their bravery with all my heart—but if this is what felt true to Foster, then isn’t that what we’d rather experience?
There’s also the simple fact that anyone, gay or straight, should not have to feel as if they need to put their sexuality in the spotlight for the world to see. It shouldn’t even be an issue; one’s acting ability should be the only thing that’s important to us. Of course, we don’t live in such a world, and I understand how some folks might find it extremely helpful for people in positions of power and fame to come out to help strengthen the community, awareness, and acceptance across the board. And it really does do that, it does. I just think we should support Ms. Foster as she asked instead of throwing her under the bus for “taking too long” to come out or for how she did it.