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Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s protestations over gay questioning: Get with the times!

Time was, public figures who were the subject of gay rumors, like Tom Cruise, would sue to assert their heterosexuality. However, a younger generation of stars has found it's much easier to keep people thinking they might in fact be gay by saying nothing, or to declare just how flattered they are by gay attention. It's a way to split the difference between two very valid goals for the aspirant actor: seeming tolerant, and exploiting a fan base. But it's a process that's as likely to end up seeming a bit tone-deaf.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the unusually theatrical 'The Dark Knight Rises" star currently promoting his film "Don Jon," sat for an interview with Out magazine. Ostensibly heterosexual actors posing for the gay publication is hardly a new phenomenon -- it's a friendly outlet for not-quite-Tom-Cruise-level-of-fame straight stars about whom there are no gay rumors. All of these actors would like access to an audience ready to objectify them. One doesn't have to be gay to know that gay fans can move a career along, particularly in a Hollywood environment charged with pressures for male stars to bulk up and strip down.

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