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Take my column, please. That has pretty much been the approach espoused by publisher Henry “Hank” Scott with his weekly column “Ask a Gay.”

Patterned after OC Weekly editor Gustavo Arellano‘s “¡Ask a Mexican!,” Scott’s tongue-in-cheek responses to emailed questions from readers are a bold and brash attempt to connect with a major part of the WeHo constituency. Is it working? We’re not sure, but the format certainly has fun leapfrogging over usual letter-from-the-publisher boundaries. Here for example is how Scott began a recent response to a woman asking whether celebrities still need today to worry about staying in the closet:

So you’re asking me if Tom Cruise is gay? Don’t know. Haven’t slept with him. And seriously, he’s so not my type (I like ‘em edgy and have a thing for shaved heads)…

I’d argue that, in a world where “celebrity” trumps talent, the risk for an actor is disappointing fans engaged more by their fantasies about him or her than by his or her acting skill. How many barely post-puberty girls would go ga ga for Justin Bieber if he said the Selena Gomez fling was all a ruse, and he really has the hots for Zac Efron or Taylor Lautner? How many guys would shell out $14 for a seat at the Arclight to watch Jennifer Aniston if she said her real heartthrob was Rosie O’Donnell?

When we spoke to Scott this fall, he indicated he plans to add a print component to in the new year. That should expand the reach of his “Ask a Gay” column and generate additional inbound queries for one of LA’s most unusual media exec imprimaturs.

Previously on FishbowlLA:
WEHOville Publisher’s Career Reaches Back to the Dawn of NYT Website

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