In an interview with the Sunday Times last month, the openly gay actor spoke out against gay parenting and distancing himself from the gay community at large.
The 53-year-old said that his mother “still wishes I had a wife and kids. She thinks children need a father and a mother, and I agree with her. I can’t think of anything worse than being brought up by two gay dads.
“Some people might not agree with that. Fine! That’s just my opinion,” Everett continued. “I’m not speaking on behalf of the gay community. In fact, I don’t feel like I’m part of any ‘community.’”
Everett faced nearly instantaneous criticism for his comments.
In a statement, Glaad President Herndon Graddick called the British actor’s opinion “outdated” and explained that Everett’s statements are insulting to gay couples who are raising children together.
“Since Everett shared his outdated opinion, gay parents, as well as their friends and families, have voiced overwhelming disappointment,” said Graddick. “Children aren’t hurt when raised by caring gay parents, but they are when uninformed people in the public eye insult their families.”
On Sunday, the actor told the Telegraph that his life has been threatened as a result of his shocking statements and refereed to members of the gay community as “queens.”
"I've now had all this hate mail, and there have been death threats, too," Everett said. "All the queens out there now have it in for me. I'm loathed by them. I'm having to take evasive action."
This isn’t the first time Everett has made controversial statements about homosexuality.
In 2009, Everett told the Daily Mail that he believes gay actors should stay in the closet.
“It's not that advisable, to be honest. It's not very easy,” said Everett. “And, honestly, I would not advise any actor necessarily, if he was really thinking of his career, to come out.
“The fact is that you could not be, and still cannot be, a 25-year-old homosexual trying to make it in the British film business or the American film business or even the Italian film business.”
In a 2010 interview with BBC’s Radio 4, Everett claimed that gay men aren’t typically welcomed in the entertainment industry.
He claimed that "show business is ideally suited for heterosexuals, it's a very heterosexual business, it's run mostly by heterosexual men, and there's a kind of pecking order.”
At the time of his comments, openly gay actor Neil Patrick Harris was emerging as a Hollywood powerhouse. Since then, other gay actors like Matt Bomer, Jonathan Groff and Zachary Quinto have been enjoying thriving careers.
It may be argued that despite the continuous damage to his public image, Everett (who, incidentally, seldom portrays straight characters) has enjoyed a relatively impressive career. Over the last 30 years, he has given memorable performances in such notable films as “The Madness of King George” (1994), “My Best Friend’s Wedding” (1997) and “An Ideal Husband” (1999).
Next summer, Everett will make his directorial debut with the film “The Happy Prince.” Everett stars in the biographical comedy alongside Colin Firth. The film focuses on the relationship between Oscar Wilde (Everett) and his friend Reginald Turner (Firth).