British actor Rupert Everett has compared the moral standpoint of Hollywood studios to that of al-Qaeda and the Taleban.

The St Trinian's star says the biggest movie production houses in the world have a deeply anachronistic view of homosexuality, abortion and drug addiction.

And the openly gay actor has explained that Jodie Foster's recent admission of her homosexuality does not signify a change in attitudes.

"It's the opposite. She is 45 and she just couldn't be bothered any more," he told the Times.

"After a certain age you can be gay. Before that it's not only not good, it's impossible.

"Hollywood is a place that pretends it's very liberal but it's not remotely. It's like al-Qaida."

The actor said that a role such as Prince Charming in the Shrek movies, for which he provides his vocal talents, was a part he would never be offered in a live-action production.

In his autobiography Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins, Everett said the head of MGM Studios had rejected his casting as the male lead opposite Sharon Stone in a film as "to all intents and purposes a homosexual was a pervert in the eyes of America and the world would never accept me in the role and therefore MGM would never hire me".

Making films in Hollywood is "like being in Afghanistan", he told the newspaper, adding that the studios' attitudes towards woman were staggeringly old-fashioned.

"The treatment of women is quite extraordinary," he said. "If you compare being a 70-year-old woman to a 70-year-old man, the old woman will maybe get to play a grandmother. The old man will do a film with a 20-year-old girl.

"On abortion, [the studios] are for it in private because they don't want actresses to clog up their schedules [by taking time off to have babies]. But in films if you get pregnant you have to keep the baby and end up with the man."

He added: "A 50-year-old male drug addict will be supported. Female alcoholics and drug addicts are absolutely rejected."

17/12/2007 11:50:21