To illustrate how you can use Google auto-complete to measure which actors trigger the public’s gaydar, let’s use veteran comic actor Bill Murray. If you type in “Bill Murray” and hit the space bar, Google offers you the ten most popular ways to complete the search phrase (e.g., “Bill Murray movies” and “Bill Murray net worth”). Not surprisingly, none of the ten suggestions for Murray includes the word “gay.”
If you want to try even harder, type “Bill Murray g.” You’ll get ten g-word suggestions such as “Ghostbusters 3,” “Garfield,” and “golf,” but once again, not “gay.”
This is hardly astounding. Bill Murray rarely plays gay characters (except in the farcical Ed Wood). He’s too old and odd-looking to be the object of gay fantasies. Most of all, in all his decades of fame, he’s never seemed gay. Thus, on a 0 to 100 scale of Google Gaydar, Murray is a 0.
I encourage readers to try out Google autocomplete prompts to measure perceptions of other aspects of the Undernews.