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Gay at the Emmys: Dan Bucatinsky scores second Emmy nomination

Actor Dan Bucatinsky attends TheWrap's First Annual Emmy Party at The London West Hollywood on June 5, 2014 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Buchan/Getty Images For TheWrap)
Photo by David Buchan

Dan Bucatinsky was last year’s upset winner at the Emmys, winning for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for “Scandal.” The actor, who played James Novak on the hit ABC drama, didn’t get nominated for his acting this year, but was recognized for his work behind the scenes. As the Emmy nominations was announced Thursday, Bucatinsky found out he received a nod for the TLC show “Who Do You Think You Are?” In an interview with Variety published Friday, Bucatinsky talked about gay roles on television.

The Emmy award-winning actor made a name for himself on “Scandal,” but continues to make strides in his career after leaving the show. Variety caught up with the star during opening night of L.A.’s Outfest Film Festival. Although Bucatinsky jokingly announced feeling “snubbed” this year, he shared how “Scandal” helped shape his career. He gave credit to the show as “something that was one of the most important career moves of my life and it was incredible. The cast will always be family to me.”

More importantly, it set him on a path to be more visible in the LGBT community as an actor who just happens to be gay. That’s why being named as a board member for Outfest was so meaningful for Bucatinsky. He said, “It’s important for the community at large to see how galvanized we are as a community, to see the straight alliances to the gay community and to see the representations of ourselves growing and getting more and more complicated all the time.”

In receiving an Emmy nomination this year, Bucatinsky joins LGBT actors and actresses such as Matt Bomer, Jim Parsons, Laverne Cox, Jane Lynch and Jodi Foster. More importantly, he is apart of a very influential group of out celebrities who are making an impact in television and within the community. Following a year where LGBT representation in Hollywood seemed to be on the decline, 2014 is turning out to be a year of growth through the process of acceptance impacted by LGBT characters.

Bucatinsky, however, highlighted that playing gay characters as he did on “Scandal” and on his upcoming NBC series “Marry Me” no longer focuses on the character’s sexuality. He told Variety, “It’s about complicated characters that just happens to be gay. That’s going to be the new face of storytelling, the ‘just happened to be story’ which is something I’ve pushed for my whole career.” The 2014 Emmy Award nominations is evidence of that change.