Talk:David Ogden Stiers

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This article mentions twice that he is a musician. Does anybody know what instrument he plays? It would be appropriate to add Lochok 10:35, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

According to IMDb, the french horn. Which makes sense as that the only instrument his character of Charles Emmerson Winchester on M*A*S*H was ever seen to play.

No credit for his role in the Perry Mason movies?[edit]

I can't find the name of the character he played in those movies anywhere in Wikipedia.--Will 04:47, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

External links[edit]

The fan site listed in External Links is bad. This should be checked periodically and if it is still not valid after a time, the link should be removed. Kwyjibear 04:52, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

Married? Has son?[edit]

Why no personal info? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 21:57, 4 April 2007 (UTC).

As well, IMDB mentions a child born in the 60's. Proxy User (talk) 03:20, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
He recently revealed he is gay. --Another Believer (Talk) 19:43, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Does anyone have proof of whether or not he has a son? A few online sources say he does, but I can't find any that are reliable enough to use as a ref for this article. Lambda 3 (talk) 18:20, 4 July 2009 (UTC)


The assertion that he came out as gay will need to be supported by multiple reliable sources before it can be added to this article. This is a major assertion that needs multiple concrete, reliable sources to adhere to WP:BLP. -- Mufka (u) (t) (c) 22:51, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

I'm the editor who first added the information and did so with the assurances of the writer for Gossip Boy that they stood by the interview. I'm looking into it more now, it's quite possible that amidst all the staff at Nancy Seltzer some did not what the others were doing, like setting up interviews. It happens. I'll refrain from posting more until I have more concrete info. Portia327 (talk) 22:58, 5 May 2009 (UTC) SChaos1701 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 21:54, 6 May 2009 (UTC).

Once again, all the MSM stories I've found link back to the Gossip Boy story, which is denied by DOS's publicist and isn't being steadfastly corroborated by the editors at Gossip Boy. All I can get out of them is, "We stand by the revelations made in the story."; reply to me via email from someone called Lucas at Gossip Boy. I'm starting to wish I hadn't updated the article..Live and learn I guess. Portia327 (talk) 01:14, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

Do you have a source for where the publicist denies the story? - ALLSTRecho wuz here @ 01:27, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

Yes, they do so on his Discussion page here at Wiki. I personally believe he did the interview and the info is good as written, but that's not up to Wiki standards. It enables him to get the info he wants out there and take back what might hurt his career. Perhaps he's waiting to see Disney's reaction before admitting or denying the article? Dunno. Portia327 (talk) 01:35, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

Edit conflict: It appears that the only denials were in edit summaries by User:NSAPR on this article here and here. That user claims to be the publicist on their talk page. -- Mufka (u) (t) (c) 01:37, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

Thanks, Mufka, my Wiki-link fu is weak. Portia327 (talk) 01:39, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

It's looking like User:NSAPR isn't really DOS' publicist. I just called Nancy Seltzer & Associates at their NY number (212-307-0117), and the woman I talked to said that to the best of her knowledge, Nancy Seltzer & Associates does not represent DOS. She said the only possibility might be "if they were doing something with him out of the LA office" that she didn’t know about. I tried calling NS&A’s LA office (at 323-938-3562), but they aren’t open yet this morning. Red Act (talk) 14:22, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

Thanks, Red Act. That seems odd that someone would go to such trouble if they weren't for real, but certainly stranger things (Hitler Diaries, etc) have happened. Portia327 (talk) 14:41, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

Whoops, I was wrong. I just called the LA office of Nancy Seltzer & Associates, and spoke with Nancy Seltzer herself. They do indeed represent David Ogden Stiers. I didn't ask about the NSAPR user name specifically, since she said she has underlings dealing with Wikipedia, so I figured she wouldn't know about what user name her underlings were using. But she did say that they are very unhappy about Wikipedia having used Gossip Boy as an ultimate source, and blames Wikipedia having relied on Gossip Boy as being the reason why ABC News and MSNBC felt free to go ahead and publish this as a story. She said that she really prefers that DOS' WP article not say anything at all about his personal life, until DOS has decided what to do about the current media coverage. Red Act (talk) 16:33, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

Red Act, you've gone above and beyond on this and I really appreciate your work and tenacity. I don't know that Wiki has the power Ms. Seltzer claims, unless one acknowledges that salacious news sells better than no news; then Wiki could certainly be compelling as an ultimate source for the MSM. Should there be any mention of Gossip Boy's article in DOS' Wiki page, either as unverified or a potential hoax? Portia327 (talk) 16:39, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

We should leave it out altogether per WP:BLP until something verifiable comes along. - ALLSTRecho wuz here @ 16:46, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

That it's published and referred to him is verified, though. I think the mention of it happening, being picked up by the mainstream media and ultimately being flatly denied by his publicist would keep most people (not the clueless vandal variety, of course) from adding the info to his page. I'm thinking ahead of trying to block potential edit-warring with well-meaning (?) newbs who don't read a Talk Page before they edit. Is that reasonable or allowed? Portia327 (talk) 16:54, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

I know what you're saying but BLP policy says if it's being denied, we can't add it, even though evey major news source in the world is now reporting it. I'll also say that Nancy Seltzer should learn how Wikipedia works before spouting off at the lip when she said she "blames Wikipedia having relied on Gossip Boy as being the reason why ABC News and MSNBC felt free to go ahead and publish this as a story". It was actually the other way around.. we used ABC News and MSNBC as the source because they published the story before it was even put in Wikipedia. - ALLSTRecho wuz here @ 16:59, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

To be fair to Ms. Seltzer, I added the info the day Gossip Boy posted their article, April 29. Then ABC, etc picked it up over the weekend and Monday-ish, best I can tell. I re-red the BLP page and I see that it stresses being conservative about personal information. It was a mistake for me to add it before getting secondary corroboration; I've learned a valuable lesson. I don't look forward to the reverts that are going to happen for the next month or so to DOS' page but I'll do my best to get to them as fast as possible and hope it dies down by the 4th of July. I appreciate all the input, effort and patience of everyone here who's been on top of this. Portia327 (talk) 17:14, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

Well, even if ABC and MSNBC picked it up over the weekend, I'd hardly blame us for it, they being the big and mighty news organizations that they are one would think they would get confirmation instead of relying on what's in a Wikipedia article. God himself has told publicly news organizations that they should always verify anything they find on Wikipedia before reporting it. As for the content additions, if we get much more drive-by additions of the content, we can always request full protection for a month. No one will be able to edit it but it will also keep the BLP violations out. - ALLSTRecho wuz here @ 17:24, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

There is over 112 news outlets covering this story including BBC News, CNN, MSNBC & E!. Therefore there is no reason whatsoever this shouldnt be included, if you are unsure of whether this should be included contact an Administrator. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Scottydog77 (talkcontribs) 13:04, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

I certainly appreciate that this is frustrating to you, but if you take a moment and read this talk page and the linked letter from the actor's publicist, and then look at the numerous articles in the mainstream media and see that they all go back to the disputed Gossip Boy article, you'll understand that until there is third-party corroboration the information will not be allowed on his Wiki page. I'm sorry that this has frustrated you, it has me as well. Portia327 (talk) 14:08, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

Protected: I have protected the page from editing until this issue is ironed out. It appears that all of the reports are based on the same interview and it is prudent to use extra care in making these statements in the article. Either way, it is very likely that we will see a published statement from the subject himself that will resolve the issue. There is no hurry in publishing this information and there is no harm in waiting to look into any denials - all of which must be taken seriously. -- Mufka (u) (t) (c) 14:27, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
Thank you Mufka. - ALLSTRecho wuz here @ 18:54, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

Thanks seconded! Portia327 (talk) 18:55, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

Its highly unlikely we are going to see any confirmation or non confirmation about this subject, the story is out there. Wiki policy is shit on that basis as are we to believe that ABC, NBC, BBC are going to retrack the of course not

Unsigned, I completely understand what you're saying and agree it is frustrating, but keep in mind two vital things; firstly, Wiki needs to be seen as above a 'story' that is 'out there'. We're encyclopedic, which means our edits must be factual, provable and neutral. Secondly, and most importantly, David Ogden Stiers is a living person. He deserves his privacy (if he wants it, and our default is that he does) and the ability to make a living. When controversy causes someone to lose their job or reputation, those that spread the controversy share the blame regardless of the information being right or wrong. To us it's words on a screen, to him it's his life. Consider his side; maybe you've been fortunate enough in life to avoid the pain of being bullied, but that's what it would be if we posted this uncorroborated information. Portia327 (talk) 16:17, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
This in itself is so POV (which is fine for a talk page, I know). You don't know the reasons for DOS's decision on this matter, so speculation isn't really that useful. The idea that an openly gay person can't make a living in Hollywood in 2009 is laughable, however. I agree with decisions for this article thus far, by the way, and that this page should stay as is until we get a better source than "Gossip Boy," but I had to chime in about your comment above. Moncrief (talk) 18:47, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
While I surely can't read his mind, the fact that Mr. Stiers' publicist asked Wiki to refrain from posting the information is telling (to me at least) about his feelings on his image. That image is linked with his employability, which was my point. Who can and can't get hired in Hollywood is irrelevant to me, but it appears relevant to his publicist, who is his mouthpiece as far as we know. My comment most certainly has a POV, that's why it's here and not in the article. The usefulness of my comment was aimed at the unsigned poster, not the article itself, which is why it was framed as it was. Perhaps next time both you and I should put such comments on the appropriate User Talk Page so as not to distract from the article discussion. Portia327 (talk) 18:57, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

Bullied? This is wikipedia not Geraldo, it isn't even credible that there isnt any mention of the alleged interview on here even if he does deny it (which trust me they wont) to miss out this story is plane silly, we will see how this goes either way his "publicist" is doing a very poor job and should be fired. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:51, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

Are we so sure that DOS's publicist denied the contents of the interview? And even if his publicist denied it, when it is being reported by ABC and numerous other news sources as being accurate, why does Wikipedia need to make a special exception? It's obvious at this point that if DOS intended on denying it, he would have made a public announcement doing so. One can't wait this long leaving the story out there. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:49, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

Isn't the following a reliable third party source? What else do we need for Wikipedia purposes? Why is the fact that he is gay such a touchy subject that Wikipedia has to go above and beyond to confirm? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:53, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

All these questions are answered in WP:BLP and perhaps with careful re-reading of this Talk page. Portia327 (talk) 14:25, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

I wouldnt worry the page will eventually be un protected and someone else will add the info and it will go full circle, pathetic excuses and silly policies make this whole thing laughable and Portia your buying right into it dude. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:21, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

  • All of those "reliable third party sources" - ABC, NBC, CNN, they all use the original interview at Gossip Boy as their own source. Gossip Boy is not a "reliable third party source". The original interview with Gossip Boy is being denied by Stiers' publicists, not just denying he is gay but denying the interview even took place. Therefore, we can not include the information per our WP:BLP policies. Period. Why is this so hard to understand? - ALLSTRecho wuz here @ 13:42, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
<<not just denying he is gay
I see no such denials. His publicist denies that the interview took place. I've not seen the publicist address the matter of his sexual orientation one way or the other. I'm not arguing for any action different from what's been taken so far here, but let's keep the facts, er, straight. Moncrief (talk) 15:16, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
Exclusion of the information is still the prudent thing to do. It doesn't appear that they are denying he is gay according to Red Act's statement above at 16:33, 7 May 2009. No harm comes from excluding it but harm could come from including it. We need to see this in another independent reliable source. -- Mufka (u) (t) (c) 15:34, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
As I stated above, I agree with the actions thus far re: this page. I'm only noting that, contrary to Allstarecho's comment, the publicist has not denied DOS is gay (nor has she confirmed it). She's only denied that the "Gossip Boy" interview took place. I agree entirely with your post just above. Moncrief (talk) 16:10, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
I'd say denying the interview where he supposedly came out as gay even took place, is denying the allegation that he's gay. It's called reading between the lines. - ALLSTRecho wuz here @ 16:23, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
That's absolutely not true. Denying that an interview took place is not the same as denying (or confirming) a topic about which the alleged interview pertained. If you can't see the difference between the two already, I'm not sure any attempt to illustrate it will help you achieve that state.
Let's try an illustration: Let's say your lunch is missing from the work fridge. A co-worker, Jane, sidles up to you and says, "Joe told me he stole your lunch out of the fridge." If that conversation between Jane and Joe never took place, the co-worker may be fabricating such a conversation because she knows, from some other source (spying or perhaps a third party told her), that Joe did it. Or Jane could have no idea who stole the lunch and could be just trying to stir up problems by making the whole thing up out of thin air. Either way, when you confront Joe, and Joe says, "I never told Jane that!" he's not denying he stole your lunch, he's denying he told Jane he did so. (To infer more would indeed be "reading between the lines," but in this case there's no proof the lines you're reading have anything to do with reality or what really happened.) Again, I said the publicist did not confirm or deny the larger subject about which the alleged interview took place. The larger subject was not the basis of her complaint. And all of this is not particularly important or earth-shattering; my only intent is to stick precisely with what we know, and not, as you say, "read between the lines" (such between-the-line-reading, when it's based on supposition, assumptions, and not hard evidence, is bad for Wikipedia -- which is why, at this point, it would be bad form to include the "Gossip Boy" rumor, since we should err on the side of caution, not having BLP-standard proof). By the way, this "Gossip Boy," whoever he is, could well have hit upon a new form of outing: generating fake interviews and then getting other media to cover them. It's rather fascinating, actually (and mostly irrelevant to this article, so I'll stop). Moncrief (talk) 16:49, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment Ummm, really? These aren't run of the mill news outlets. If this story is a hoax then I would expect to see any sort of retraction or official denial of rumors, etc. in a reliable source. Do we have those? The original source actually also seems to be credible. So we're using, no disrespect intended, the upset of someone who may or may not have all the facts. At this point I'd say we have cause to add "In May 2009 it was widely reported by mainstream news sources that Steirs came out as gay attributed to a lengthy interview published at GossipBoy." This is the encyclopedic approach. If we have any reliable sources that counteract this then we can look to what weight to give them. If Stiers himself denies this and has any explanation for the interview - "it never took place", "a bad joke", "I was researching a role on againg closeted actor", etc. then we match those up as well. ____ was reported but it's untrue. We don't deny reliable sourcing because we don't like something, we present it neutrally and let the sources do all the talking. -- Banjeboi 20:03, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
    • Update. I called the LA office and they won't confirm or deny anything until next Tuesday when they are back from holiday. Unless there is compelling reason to leave this out our reliable sourcing guidelines in line with BLP supporting including this with due weight. -- Banjeboi 21:41, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
I certainly understand your passion and frustration about this subject, but a compelling reason not to include it is the consensus on this page to leave it out. Several editors have gone out of their way to post their feelings against inclusion and you are one person. I'm new here for sure, but is there a poll or vote or something besides this Talk page where a more accurate feeling can be gleaned? I still think inclusion would violate the BLP. Portia327 (talk) 00:10, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
Under other cicumstances it may but we have piles of reliable sources that all state the same things and nothing that counters that they are in error in any way. If it is false or untrue, if the interview was fabricated, where is there any evidence of this? Meanwhile internation media have stated he came out. If we report NPOV and dispassionately I think policy is fine, BLP would apply if we had anything to deny the content, and then we would state the above sentence and add that ...however this was disputed etc. The issue is that that was widely reported so we aren't making something up we are following the sources. -- Banjeboi 07:20, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
Where did the piles of reliable sources get their information? It is widely reported, yes, but every report I've seen on MSNBC, etc goes back to the same source - the Gossip Boy interview his publicist denies. They deny the disputed content, so all we could reasonably add to the article is, "Gossip Boy claimed an interview that his publicist denies."; this isn't encyclopedic, no matter how much discussion or interest it provokes. Thank you, Portia327 (talk) 14:29, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
But the problem here is common sense. "His publicist denies" is supported only by loose statements on this talkpage and when I contacted them they didn't deny anything but deferred making any statement. If this actually was disputed in any way any of those reliable sources would have stated so rather than simply reprinting something libelous. The original interview would also likely be sued for defamation, if any of this were untrue. Meanwhile we have a preponderance of news stories reporting something that Wikipedia is therefore censoring based on wobbly information that we likely are getting wrong. Again do you have any evidence whatsoever that this information is actually untrue, disputed or otherwise false in any way? I don't see it but if it exists let's check it out. -- Banjeboi 00:30, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Socking users aside we have reliable sourcing to support "In May 2009 it was widely reported by mainstream news sources that Steirs came out as gay attributed to a lengthy interview published at GossipBoy." As this BLP is written rather uniquely this shoud be woven in rather than drawing undue attention to it however it should be included. I see no evidence that the original interview was false, misleading or otherwise untrue and a multitude of reliable sources repeating the same with no disclaimers whatsoever. I see no reason to disclude this. If we have any relaible sourcing to support this is in any way false then lets look at that to see how to reconcile it. -- Banjeboi 00:24, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

This same argument has been made and refuted above. Let's not have it a third time, please. This is frustrating for all of us - I know I would personally prefer to simply call DOS and ask if he gave the interview, the contents of which notwithstanding. That would clear up everything. His mouthpiece says he didn't, it ends there. It makes it a rumor and we don't include rumors. I appreciate that there are many who feel this is an issue worth fighting over (from the shocking [to me, anyway] lengths socks have gone to, recently), but this is not the front to wage this battle on. Portia327 (talk) 02:45, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
Actually this is not a front or any battle being waged. The argument has not been refuted - we have no repeat absolutely zilch evidence this isn't true. Someone claiming to be Stiers rep edited the page and denied the interview took place but that doesn't actually hold up to our standards, at all. When Stiers' rep was called they seemed to state - she really prefers that DOS' WP article not say anything at all about his personal life, until DOS has decided what to do about the current media coverage. Guess what? We consider a BLP subject's wishes but we don't censor based solely on that. You state "His mouthpiece says he didn't, it ends there." Um, no it actually doesn't, Wikipedia follows the sourcing not the other way around. If there is anything to reliably support that the interview is a hoax or untrue then please present that. Perhaps we could have an exclusive that no other media outlet has? We are any statements of denial or fabrication to counter the widespread mass media reporting? Common sense would support the NPOV inclusion here unless and until some credible explanation of denial is proferred. The original source stands by "the revelations made in the story". I'm not passionate about reporting Stiers is gay but I am passionate that we follow our own policies and common sense here. -- Banjeboi 22:02, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

I've decided to go ahead and provide a little more information about the phone conversation I had with Nancy Seltzer (DOS' publicist) on May 7. First of all, Nancy did not at all deny that DOS was gay, and indeed, portrayed him as never having been particularly closeted. I didn't post that tidbit on May 7, because I didn't want to risk me being any part of DOS being outed to a greater extent than he wanted to be. But that’s really moot at this point. If you Google "'David Ogden Stiers' gay", you get over 43,000 hits now. DOS couldn't climb into a closet at this point if he tried.

Also, although Nancy Seltzer's underling says "Stiers never gave that interview with Gossip Boy"[1] and "This information about his personal life is fraud, the interview never happened and this is putting words into his mouth"[2], the statements I got from Nancy Seltzer herself were less strong, and more nuanced. When I asked her if Gossip Boy just completely made the whole thing up, she replied that it was "possible" (without actually confirming or denying anything) that Gossip Boy "may have used something that they had", or words pretty close to that. I'm not sure exactly what kind of scenario she may have been hinting at, but what came to my mind was something along the lines of a conversation that DOS had perhaps being recorded without his knowledge, and then being edited into the Gossip Boy "interview". But to be perfectly clear, that's just a wild guess. Nancy did not actually provide any details about what Gossip Boy may have based the "interview" on, or even clearly confirm or deny that the Gossip Boy "interview" was based on things that DOS did indeed say.

My impression is that the truth in this matter isn't a case of either Gossip Boy telling the truth, or else Nancy Seltzer and Associates telling the truth, but rather that there is substantial truth to what both are saying. I have no reason to doubt Nancy Seltzer's underling when he or she says that there is something fraudulent about the Gossip Boy "interview", and certainly Nancy Seltzer never knowingly authorized an official interview between DOS and Gossip Boy, with the point of DOS coming out. But I see no good evidence that the Gossip Boy "interview" is just a complete fabrication, either. I'm a computer programmer, not a lawyer, but it seems to me that if Gossip Boy were to completely fabricate an interview that would hold up in court as constituting libel or at least a tort of false light, DOS' or Nancy Seltzer's lawyers would presumably quickly get a cease and desist order issued on Gossip Boy, that would force Gossip Boy to either issue a retraction, or at least take the interview off of their web site. That hasn't happened.

As of May 7, my opinion was that we should interpret WP:BLP in this case to maximize DOS' privacy, and not have the article say anything at all about his sexual orientation. However, my opinion now is that it's too late to protect DOS' privacy. The world knows that DOS is gay now, no matter what our article does or doesn't say. Once something has been put out there on the internet, it never goes away. Perhaps it's even all Wikipedia's fault, for being the first widely-read source to report this. But we can't go back and change that now.

At this point, my opinion is that Banjeboi's proposed approach is a reasonable one. We shouldn't report on the Gossip Boy article directly, since they're an unreliable source (as well as possibly being shitheads who outed someone without their full knowledge and consent), but rather report that reliable sources (like ABC News and MSNBC) have been reporting it.

The gist of WP:BLP is that Wikipedia should follow the lead of the reliable sources on a matter. Since Nancy Seltzer and Associates contacted us (via NSAPR) to try to suppress this information, my guess is that NS&A also contacted ABC News and MSNBC news to try to suppress this information there. But those reliable sources apparently evaluated all the information that they had, judged it according to the ethics criteria of professional journalism, and did not issue any retractions or take the stories off their web sites. So if we follow the lead of the reliable sources in this case, our action will be to go ahead and report it.

I think a version of Banjeboi's proposed wording is a reasonable one: "In May 2009, it was reported by mainstream news sources that Steirs came out as gay, according to an interview published at Gossip Boy.", with references to ABC News and MSNBC, not to Gossip Boy directly. Red Act (talk) 22:30, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

Thank you for the update, likewise in light of how the article is currently structured I think it's helpful to source the original interview *so we have that recorded) and then the content that other relaible sources quote from the article. That is, to show what they saw as notable from the interview. If no one else crafts this i will work on it in a day or two. -- Banjeboi 00:28, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
It is an indisputable fact that it was widely reported and not publicly denied. Stating that it was reported is an entirely reasonable and measured way to include it in the article. -- Mufka (u) (t) (c) 00:56, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
I don't think it makes sense to say any more about the Gossip Boy "interview" than just the one sentence I just added. DOS has accumulated a massive list of 145 acting credits over a 38-year career, and has been nominated for three Emmys. Despite all that, the article only has six paragraphs covering his entire career. If a couple paragraphs were to be added about the Gossip Boy thing, that would be giving undue weight to something that isn't what he's really notable for. Red Act (talk) 18:40, 29 May 2009 (UTC)


Could someone get a more recent picture of him to use at the top of the page? Something showing a more accurate depiction of how he looks now, and maybe an image of David Ogdent Stiers himself, as opposed to a character he portrayed on a TV show. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:56, 16 July 2009 (UTC) 33

Even that image was taken down. If you google his name you will see 100's of pictures, so why can't there just be one here as a token reference? (talk) 03:05, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia has specific rules for the use of images. Please see the image use policy for information on what images may be hosted. If you're able to identify an image you believe meets that policy, go to Wikipedia:Files for upload for assistance on uploading it. Rivertorch (talk) 07:43, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

Contentious claims[edit]

The entire "personal life" section (which just dealt with him coming out) was deleted with this edit summary: "Personal life: repetition of an unreliable source does not make it reliable for contentious claims and labelling per WP:BLP and WP:RS)."[3] I do not understand why the reporting of an interview in which the subject came out would be regarded as a "contentious claim". It's not as if anyone is contending that he is heterosexual. He has never married someone of the opposite sex, or any other signs that would make this assertion contentious. I don't see how this assertion would be any more contentious than if he said he is a Methodist, or a supporter of Barack Obama.   Will Beback  talk  23:23, 12 August 2011 (UTC)

The original source was not WP:RS and there is no indication that anyone repeating it made any fact checking on the topic. Thus it manages to be contentious (I trust you agree on that) and lacking a sufficient reliable source under current WP:BLP policy. Is that sufficiently clear? Unless, of course, the "93 IQ" hoax which was published by "reliable sources" but was contentious (and turned out to be a hoax) should properly be in the Bush BLP? Cheers. Or is labelling people according to sexual orientation not contentious? I think most editors would fall in my camp on this seeing the BLP discussions. Collect (talk) 23:36, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
Off2riorob has argued that sexual orientation is not notable, which is the opposite of contentious. I agree that claiming someone is gay or lesbian when they deny it, implicitly or explicitly, would be contentious, just like any statement that directly opposed their own claims about themselves. But absent any such denial I don't see how asserting that a bachelor actor stated he is gay could be regarded as a contentious claim.   Will Beback  talk  23:46, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
Read my lips - I am not O2RR. Now can you deal with what I posted? Cheers.Collect (talk) 23:49, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
Off2riorob has expressed that view at BLPN discussions, to which you referred. The text in question did not "label" the subject, which would be text like "he is gay". Rather, it reported on an interview he gave in which he said he was gay. That's not labeling, that's reporting on an interview. Why do you think it's so contentious? Has anyone argued over this in secondary sources? Is there a big "is he or isn't he" debate?   Will Beback  talk  23:55, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
Curiously enough, I am still not O2RR. I thought I had made that clear. (bolding for clarity) And labelling people is generally contentious - whether calling a person a Scientologist, a Jew, a Catholic, a Whatever - unless the information is germane to the person and is strongly supported by reliable sources, it is a "contentious claim" as far as I can tell. Indeed, it is one of the root problems on Wikipedia now to be examined by ArbCom. Cheers. Collect (talk) 00:31, 13 August 2011 (UTC)
I actually do understand that you are a different person. I'm not sure why you think otherwise. I never said you are the same person.
You believe that saying someone is Catholic, based on their own comments, is a contentious statement requiring exceptional sources?   Will Beback  talk  00:45, 13 August 2011 (UTC)
I even would not label a person Jewish because their grandfather was Jewish. And if the information is not important to understanding the person in any way, then I am dubious about categorizing many peple at all. Mel Gibson made a religious film - his religion is clearly relevant. Joe Jewishname shold not be categorized as "Jewish.' We had a recent case where a person said she was ADD -- the result there was that we could not categorize a person based on an SPS as being diagnosed with ADD. WP:BLP has gotten a lot stronger since the "old days" where anything was allowed on Wikipedia - we now require that material be something that a person fifty years from now would find utile. Categorizing and labelling people is non-utile as a rule. And "strong" != "exceptional" sourcing. Entertainment articles are not the same as news articles or actual biographical articles. Really. Cheers. Collect (talk) 09:29, 13 August 2011 (UTC)
That's different - you're talking about assigning someone to a religious category because of some external factor like name or family background. I'm talking about making a categorization based on the subject's self-declaration. If someone says they are Catholic, or Gay, or Republican then I see no reason to regard those as contentious claims. They certainly aren't treated that way across Wikipedia.   Will Beback  talk  07:36, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
And I disagree. "Self-description" may be valid if presented in a reliable source, but categorization requires more than a less-than-strong source averring that the person belongs in a category. I refer you to User:Collect/BLP which shows how one editor tried gaming the system for such a goal (showing his comments from article talk pages). I do not think that editor was the only one in all of Wikipedia holding such positions. Cheers. Collect (talk) 11:58, 15 August 2011 (UTC)

This article goes from his "Early life and education" and "Career" to... nothing. No mention of his life outside of being an actor.

There should be more about him as a person. For instance that he's gay, just for starters.

Doubledragons (talk) 15:05, 20 December 2012 (UTC)

You're resurrecting a 16-month-old discussion. (I assume you read all of the above.) While I agree with you, the consensus seemed to be that a source other than the ABC News source is required for including this information in the article, and there's no reason to think the situation has changed. If you know of another source, please provide it. And make sure it's rock-solid reliable and not simply parroting ABC News. And be prepared for an extended discussion: some contributors to this project go to extraordinary lengths to "protect" public figures who have come out from themselves. The threshold for reliability of sources rises to dizzying heights when (minority) sexual orientation is involved. Rivertorch (talk) 15:56, 20 December 2012 (UTC)
All I can say to all this is... WOW. People do certainly go to extreme lengths to hide homosexuality. Even in the 1950s I would have expected more transparency. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:06, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
Not too sure about the 1950s bit, but I really can't argue with anything you've said (including in your edit summary). Rivertorch (talk) 07:51, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
  • I'd like to note that the content in question has been re-added at least seven times and removed as many times over the past 20 months. I still think that the solution is obvious—to include it—and that the efforts to exclude it constitute a serious misapplication of WP:BLP. Nonetheless, without at least one reliable source that doesn't date to 2009, we're lacking clear consensus to include. Rivertorch (talk) 05:26, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

Re-use sexuality claims? Found long-lost 2009 interview[edit]

closing due to request at WP:ANRFC. No consensus for inclusion at this time. Not prejudiced for inclusion later if more reliable sources are found. The WP:GRAPEVINE argument is very strong. All the "reliable" stories directly mention gossip-boy which is clearly not an RS for WP:BLP info like this. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Gaijin42 (talkcontribs) 21:06, 7 February 2014‎

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

The sexuality claims are added back; it was just ABC News and no interview. I recently found the five-year-old Gossip Boy interview with David Ogden Stiers and then added it as a source. Now with the interview recovered by, should Ogden's sexuality be included again after a long battle? --George Ho (talk) 19:52, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

  • Support Substantial Rewrite The sentence, as it's currently written, is a feedback loop IMO as per WP:GRAPEVINE since every source (ABC News,, etc.) reference which, itself, doesn't meet the standards of RS and is defunct anyway. That said, I would be okay with a more ambiguous single sentence like "In 2009 several media outlets reported DOS was gay." which is objectively true. Given the high standards and pretty limited monetary payouts that are increasingly hallmark of U.S. libel laws, there are any number of reasons he might not be interested in suing ABC, etc., even if he's straight as an arrow. In the aftermath of Yonaty v. Mincolla he'd probably be even less inclined to pursue legal action and just let it blow over. BlueSalix (talk) 00:42, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
I rewrote it the first and the second times. George Ho (talk) 01:01, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
I'm uncomfortable with the words "admitted his homosexuality" given the sourcing issues. Saying he "admitted his homosexuality" is an unambiguous statement of fact that DOS declared he was gay. Saying it was "reported that ..." simply asserts that media reported something, while remaining neutral as to whether said thing actually occurred.
Also, the word "admitted" - though technically correct - has an associative quality of guilt or shame. One would "admit he is the murderer." One might also "admit he discovered the cure for cancer" but would more likely "announce he discovered the cure for cancer." BlueSalix (talk) 01:33, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
I reworded and then added references. Also, I tagged the whole sentence as "dubious". --George Ho (talk) 07:12, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
Although I've never had a problem with including it, my guess is that the added content won't stick. For the past couple of years, I've been holding my nose and enforcing what I've considered an unfortunate consensus (but consensus nonetheless). I'm stepping back from that role now. I will say this much: I see no actual new sourcing, so if consensus has changed, it's probably just because the celebrity "protection" brigade isn't aware of this thread. As an aside, the new wording is awkward:

In 2009, media outlets reported that, based on his interview with the defunct blog Gossip Boy, Stiers is gay after years of being closeted for fear of damaging his career.

First, it's a now-defunct blog; it wasn't defunct when the interview supposedly took place, but the sentence doesn't make that clear. (Compare: My grandfather shot an extinct bird in 1958.) Second, if Stiers is gay now, he was gay all along, whether closeted or not. I'd just rewrite it but, as I said, I think someone will be along to remove it before very long. The "dubious" tag isn't exactly a point in favor of its staying. Rivertorch (talk) 20:55, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
Another rewording: replaced "defunct" with "then-active"; replaced "is gay" with "came out as gay". George Ho (talk) 21:59, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
That's a great compromise wording, George Ho! Love it! BlueSalix (talk) 06:56, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
Yes, nicely done, though I don't think there's anything dubious about this. Note that one corrects a story like this, if correction is required, with a few phone calls. No lawsuit is necessary. But when you read the interview, the quotes are long and clear. I'd even be ok with adding his reason, that he waited because of the specific work he was doing, and why he was coming out now, so that a partner would not have to be closeted. Bmclaughlin9 (talk) 03:17, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
Leave it out altogether. We cannot even say "his interview" because the site given is not even a reliable source for a claim that they interviewed him. And saying that others said that someone unreliable said the Stiers said something? That doesn't seem to rise to being significant information. It would also be against WP:BLP standard for including material that seems intended to get people to believe something some-view-as-negative about someone. --Nat Gertler (talk) 03:59, 31 January 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Let's hear Ged UK's opinion about this; he reverted my removal of this material. George Ho (talk) 05:45, 31 January 2014 (UTC)

This is getting confusing. Ged UK's edit summary was very clear and absolutely correct. ABC News is one of the most reliable broadcast news sources in the world, and unless they've retracted something they reported, we should be able to report it too. (Or at least report that they reported it!) While we may safely assume—given that they ran the story and haven't retracted it—that ABC News exercised due diligence in their fact-checking and determined that the blog entry wasn't simply made up out of whole cloth but rather was factual enough to be worth reporting on, we have no indication that the blog entry was entirely accurate; it's still not a reliable source for our purposes. Rivertorch (talk) 15:59, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
Indeed. This story has been reported by a range of agencies known for fact checking, and are generally considered reliable. The original source isn't reliable, but the fact that so many other agencies have reported on it makes it reliable. If you continue to be worried, then writing it as it is now that this was reported is another option. GedUK  16:08, 2 February 2014 (UTC)
The main point is disputing the information reported by sources, reliable or not. I don't see how this meets standards of WP:BLP. Probably I'm seeing editorial discretion. George Ho (talk) 23:46, 2 February 2014 (UTC)
Hi all, reliable sources or not, I don't see the value of including information about a living person's sexuality if the living person hasn't made a point about proclaiming it, or if their sexuality is not a factor in their fame or public persona. That is, if a heterosexual man stated in a five-year old interview that he wanted to settle down and have a kid, would we include that in an article and talk about his family man proclivities? Probably not because it's boring nonsense. If he said, "Man, I sure love to go out every Friday night and cruise pie shops for a delicious rhubarb," would we include that? No way, because who cares? Similarly, if D.O.S. stated that he was gay, why would that suddenly become noteworthy? Because gay is not the norm and needs to be reported? It seems like we're sensationalizing sexuality, or at least sexuality that is non-heterosexual, and that shouldn't be our aim. If a public figure is known for being gay, like RuPaul, or Neil Patrick Harris, or Ellen Degeneres, that's a different story. But hanging festive flashing lights around the neck of a man who just wants to act shouldn't be our aim, even if we CAN find an old article where he admits to being gay. Cyphoidbomb (talk) 06:40, 5 February 2014 (UTC)

Unless he clearly self-identifies as gay it is improper under WP:BLP to use allegation and inference to so label such a person. Collect (talk) 13:34, 5 February 2014 (UTC)

Well then you have no difficulties whatsoever: he is reported as saying "I am {gay}. Very proud to be so". No doubt you'll find some other reason to object, but it's not "allegation" at all, it's self-identification as direct as anyone could reasonably want. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 19:14, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
It would be nice if you gave an actual link -- I searched -- and the "source" is the same non-RS "Gossip Boy" blog. Nice try there -- but if the base source fails WP:RS for being a strong source for a contentious claim, it remains invalid per WP:BLP. Now if you can document that "Gossip Boy" as a blog is a reliable source for contentious claims, then do so. Using a cite which quotes a problematic site ain't gonna work. Cheers. Collect (talk) 19:44, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
("Gossip Boy" is a blog on, has no editorial oversight, has a email link only, and has such important stuff as Which hot couple was found at an after party in a bathroom with the woman on her knees and the man watching themselves in the mirror. When caught, the guy looked at the shocked person and asked if they wanted a taste. presented as "news." Really think it is a reliable source???Collect (talk) 19:47, 5 February 2014 (UTC)

I just undid a reinsertion of the material for which the edit summary claimed that there was consensus to include it on the Talk page. Given the arguments from Collect, Cyphoidbomb, myself, and George Ho's statement of BLP concern, I think it rather clear that such a consensus has not formed. --Nat Gertler (talk) 19:55, 5 February 2014 (UTC)

(edit conflict) That was a straw-man argument in 2011 and it's the same now, and your quote from the blog couldn't be less relevant. I've enforced the wrongheaded consensus for more than two years, but now the consensus has shifted. The simple fact of the matter is that our article isn't reporting that Mr. Stiers came out; it's reporting that reliable sources reported that he came out. It's not our job to second-guess ABC News, and the BLP-violation claims are empty. It's not up to Wikipedia to vet the primary sources accepted by major news outlets or to make assumptions about what fact-checking processes those outlets have used. Our content simply needs to be verifiable using reliable secondary sources, and the wording I have restored amply meets that standard. Rivertorch (talk) 19:57, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
Add me to those opposing. I particularly agree with Collect's point. It's shameful, yet unsurprising, that such a ridiculous "source" would be even considered for citing a contentious claim about a living person. Joefromrandb (talk) 06:24, 7 February 2014 (UTC)
You should complain to ABC News; they're the ones who cited it. We were citing them. Rivertorch (talk) 18:37, 7 February 2014 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Sexuality source[edit]

While reviewing the conversation above, and my close, I came across the following source where Stiers specifically says he is not gay. While certainly that is something that is consistent with being closeted, its more weight against accepting the blog source to the contrary, particularly as the reliability of this source is of a much better quality (but certainly not the gold standard). "I was in New York when Stonewall happened and I had an extremely Midwest reaction: "Why don't those people shut up" [...] Are you gay? No, I'm not. But, I believe that we're all the same person differently expressed." Gaijin42 (talk) 14:51, 18 June 2014 (UTC)

Seems trivia at best. At worst, it is a backdoor for assertions as to his sexual orientation. Collect (talk) 14:55, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
I believe you misunderstood me, I wasn't presenting the source for inclusion in the article, merely as additional evidence that discussion above was resolved correctly and that his sexuality shouldn't be discussed at this time. Gaijin42 (talk) 15:06, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
Good find! Cyphoidbomb (talk) 15:38, 18 June 2014 (UTC)