In a recent online interview with the Los Angeles Times, former UFC Champion and A-Team star Quinton “Rampage” Jackson is quoted as saying, “Acting is kind of gay.” Jackson takes on the iconic Mr. T role as B.A. Baracus in the upcoming movie adaptation of The A Team. “It [acting] makes you soft. You got all these people combing your hair and putting a coat over your shoulders when you’re cold. I don’t want a coat over my shoulders! I’m a tough-ass mo**erf**ker.” The article also ran in The Los Angeles Times’ Sunday print edition.
Equating gay with soft is an antiquated stereotype. In an era where gay servicemen risk their lives daily, Jackson’s implication that being gay means you can’t be tough is particularly harmful. His comments serve to uphold sweeping generalizations about gay men and about the representation of masculinity.
Later in the interview, Jackson commented on the city of Vancouver, where The A-Team was filmed. “Vancouver strikes me as a San Francisco-kind of place,” he says. ”And I don’t want mo**erf**kers getting ideas about me. I feel in my heart I’m the toughest mo**erf**ker on the planet. And I don’t want nothing changing my train of thought. If you don’t believe that when we step inside the octagon, it shows.”
Jackson’s comments conflict with the statement UFC President Dana White previously issued. When asked if a UFC fighter could be open about his sexual orientation, White said, “I honestly think it would have no impact whatsoever, with not only our fighters, but our fan base,” White said. “The guys in the UFC, everybody’s so cool, there’s great sportsmanship, everybody’s so respectful. It wouldn’t be a big deal to me, and most of the guys I know in this sport, it wouldn’t be a big deal to them either.”
The A Team opens June 11th in theaters everywhere. GLAAD has reached out to Twentieth Century Fox about Jackson’s defamatory comments. Please check back for updates or follow us on Twitter.