NEW YORK, Dec. 22 (UPI) -- Britain's Sir Ian McKellen says his career "took off" after he publicly announced he was gay.
"Guys, get out of the closet," the British "Lord of the Rings" star instructed his fellow gay actors from a couch on television's "The View" Monday.
Pointing out that he was the first openly gay man to be knighted by the Queen of England, McKellen said he saw the move as a sign of "social change that I approved of."
McKellen admitted that although an actor's sexual orientation is of little consequence in Great Britain or on Broadway, it does still seem to matter greatly in Hollywood.
"They've only just discovered in Hollywood that there are blacks," he quipped, referring to Halle Berry and Denzel Washington's history-making 2001 Oscar wins and suggesting those making decisions in Tinseltown are slow at recognizing minority groups.