Can you hear me NOW? I’m Gay. The Verizon Guy is coming out!

After nine years in a corporate closet, Paul Marcarelli is coming out as gay. The horn-rimmed spokesman for Verizon talked to Spencer Morgan of The Atlantic about the contract that has sealed his lips for the past decade. It had what amounted to a no self-outing clause. Anonymous mascots are not supposed to have lives that could publicly detract from the characters they play. And being gay is still good dish, way too juicy for the bean-counters to risk. Homophobia blurs with the bottom line. Marcarelli’s catch phrase “Can You Hear Me Now?” will certainly go down in the history of TV advertising slogans – along with other pervertable classics such as: “Where’s the Beef?” “Don’t Squeeze the Charmin'” and “You’re soaking in It.” Marcarelli is currently in post-production on The Green, a film he wrote and co-produced and which focuses on a small-town gay couple who become embroiled in a scandal. Look forward to it on the festival circuit. The Atlantic article is available here.

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