GLAAD Say Hollywood LGBTQ Representation Hit New Low in 2017

LGBTQ media monitoring organisation GLAAD today announced that they have refused to give a single major Hollywood studio a “pass grade” as a result of their lack of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and queer representation in 2017.

Of the 109 films surveyed by the organisation, characters representing the LGBTQ community appeared in only 14, just 12.8% of all releases. This figure is a 5.6% drop on the 18.4% of movies that featured LGBTQ representation in Hollywood movies in 2016 and is the lowest total since GLAAD began their surveys back in 2012.

Perhaps even more damaging is that of the 14 films included in GLAAD’s list of releases featuring inclusive representation, the LGBTQ characters featured for less than 5 minutes in 7 of them.

GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis called for studios to increase this total to 20% of all releases by 2021 and 50% by 2024. She stated:

“If Hollywood wants to remain relevant with these audiences and keep them buying tickets, they must create stories are reflective of the world LGBTQ people and our friends and family know.”

Superhero releases Thor: Ragnarok and Wonder Woman were given particular criticism for choosing to not include the sexuality of characters who had been represented as LGBTQ in the source materials, with comedy CHIPS being criticised for using characters of an LGBTQ sexuality as punchlines to distasteful jokes.

Of the 28 characters identified, 16 were played by people of colour, an increase from 20% in 2016 to 56% of the total LGBTQ representation in Hollywood movies, with men playing 64% of said characters. There were no trans characters in any studio release in 2017.

The figures released by GLAAD did not include studio subsidiaries like Sony Pictures Classics which released 2018 Oscar front-runner Call Me By Your Name. In the case of these smaller distributors, LGBTQ characters appeared in 28% of releases (11 of 40), a figure that was up from the 17% in 2016.

The report graded the major Hollywood studios as the following:

  • 20th Century Fox – Insufficient
  • Universal – Insufficient
  • Disney – Poor
  • Paramount – Poor
  • Sony – Poor
  • Lionsgate – Fail
  • Warner Bros. – Fail
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