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GLAAD: Major Film Studios Failing at LGBT-Inclusivity - Read the Report

Cloudatlas

GLAAD today released its 2013 Studio Responsibility Index, which analyzes the "quantity, quality, and diversity" of LGBT people in films from 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, Sony Columbia, Universal Pictures, The Walt Disney Studios and Warner Brothers released in 2012.

On a related note, Towleroad's film critic Nathaniel Rogers released his own list of the 'Best LGBT Movie Characters of 2012' at the end of that year. You might want to check that out.

As far as GLAAD's report goes, the results are poor for all involved:

Out of the 101 film releases by the major studios in the 2012 calendar year, only 14 films contained characters identified as lesbian, gay or bisexual. There were no films containing transgender characters. More detailed looks at each studio and their films can be found in the report.

Fox and Disney received "failing" grades. Disney released one LGBT-inclusive film while Fox released none. The grades for all other studios was "adequate".

One new element of the report is the Vito Russo Test, named for GLAAD founder Vito Russo.

The L.A. Times explains: Pitchperfect

To pass the "Russo Test," a film must contain an identifiably LGBT character, who must not be solely identified by their sexual orientation or gender identity, and who must be tied to the film's plot so that his or her removal from the story would have a major effect on it.

According to the report, six of the 14 studio films that featured LGBT characters passed the Russo Test.

Kane said "Cloud Atlas," an independent movie distributed by Warner Bros. in the U.S. and Canada, was the most LGBT-inclusive film released by a major studio in 2012. The Tom Hanks-starring picture, directed by Lana and Andy Wachowski and Tom Tykwer, passed the Russo Test.

Also drawing positive notice from GLAAD, and passing the Russo Test, were Universal's "Pitch Perfect" and Paramount's "Fun Size." Universal and Sony each released four LGBT-inclusive films in 2012 — more than the other major studios.

Films released by the studios' specialty imprints, such as Universal's Focus Features, were not included in the tallies. Companies like Focus, Sony Pictures Classics and Fox Searchlight Pictures — all known for their independent sensibilities — released films in 2012 that featured LGBT characters. Under the parameters of the study, Jinks' "Milk," which was released by Focus in 2008, wouldn't have been included in the tally.

Read the report below:

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Comments

  1. I'm not sure I follow. Why does the story have to have a specifically gay character in it to be worth telling "responsibly?"

    Posted by: JY | Aug 21, 2013 8:14:15 AM


  2. So 14% of major film releases contained gay characters? How exactly is that bad? Especially since we're what... 4-6% of the population? What exactly does GLAAD want these movie studios to do? Start cramming in unecessary gay and transgendered characters for no reason? I wonder what percentage of these films contained Asian actors/characters.

    I think we need to be more concerned with how we're being portrayed, not how often we are. I'll take quality over quantity anyday.

    Posted by: WHATWHAT | Aug 21, 2013 8:25:53 AM


  3. "Fox and Disney received "failing" grades. Disney released one LGBT-inclusive film while Fox released none."

    Well I'm just shocked!!

    Posted by: Gigi | Aug 21, 2013 8:30:00 AM


  4. Hollywood was built on the casting couch whereupon women prostituted themselves to sleazy men in order to get fame and money as actresses. Male homosexuality interferes with that formula.

    Even with the social changes of the last 50 years, male homosexuality still remains a threat to the "sleazy straight guy and his bisexual female enabler". Both straight guys and 'bisexual' women see male homosexuality as a threat to their money-making formula.

    Posted by: nano | Aug 21, 2013 8:45:32 AM


  5. The movie of Cloud Atlas was "gayer" than the book in that Frobisher (Ben Whishaw's character) was bisexual in the book but not in the film, in which he was presented as totally gay. In the book he falls in love with his mentor's wife (all whilst writing to his "true love", Sexsmith). This causes a rift with his mentor. In the film it is the elderly mentor himself with whom Frobisher falls in love (quite preposterously actually). While I loved Ben Whishaw in the film, I found this deviation from the book a bit off-putting. But both book and movie did a lovely job of portraying the profound love between Frobisher and Sexsmith, and in that way were quite affirming of gay relationships (even ones that end grimly).

    Posted by: Wil | Aug 21, 2013 9:23:40 AM


  6. Jason/Brian has a new screen-name. How exciting!

    So GLAAD stole the Bechdel Test and changed "women" to "LGBT."

    Posted by: crispy | Aug 21, 2013 9:29:10 AM


  7. I agree with WHATWHAT.

    And just to be daring, let's just call this report gay fundamentalism. I suppose the bandwagon-jumping was eventual.

    Posted by: JonQPublik | Aug 21, 2013 9:33:24 AM


  8. More much ado about nothing from GLAAD.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Aug 21, 2013 9:33:55 AM


  9. I agree with WHATWHAT.

    And just to be daring, let's just call this report gay fundamentalism. I suppose the bandwagon-jumping was eventual.

    Posted by: JonQPublik | Aug 21, 2013 9:35:22 AM


  10. The "Vito Russo Test" is total BS. The Bechdel test that it is flagrantly ripping off is not BS. Having a gay character that has to be central to the plot is absurd. That is asking for the moon. Let movies be organic things that people can tweak, in the WRITING stage, into better works.

    Posted by: Fenrox | Aug 21, 2013 9:49:23 AM


  11. Please. There are few gayer industries than the entertainment one, film, tv,music, etc., Everything is controlled by literally a handful of people, relatively speaking, and gays are heavily represented in management.

    What we could do with is less of the gay stereotypes. In my lifetime I seen a relative handful of movies that had gay characters that weren't a stereotype. TV and music is worse in this respect.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Aug 21, 2013 9:52:50 AM


  12. Looks like they have too much time on their hands and had to complain about 14% of movies. Hollywood tends to make big movies if they make money (whether the film has gay characters or not). Go figure that big Hollywood studios want to make movies that actually make money.

    Posted by: Chase | Aug 21, 2013 10:04:15 AM


  13. Ratbastard,

    Actually, the music industry is extremely homophobic. None of the musical acts in the itunes top 100 includes an openly gay or bi male. It's more barren than the Mojave desert. Just because there are gay or bi guys working behind the scenes, it doesn't mean they are welcome at the level of marketing.


    Whatwhat,

    All men are capable of homosexual acts. That's why they fear it. You need to stop thinking of homosexuality as an identity and start looking at it in terms of an act. They fear the homosexual act because they know every man is capable of it.

    Posted by: nano | Aug 21, 2013 10:17:41 AM


  14. i once heard they found a cure for homosexuality - the screen actors guild. frankly, i'm amazed there were so many glbt characters found in films from hollywood. i imagine a great many of the characters were evil sociopaths who were murdered or committed suicide - the seemingly justifiable way to portray a glbt character from the major studios point of view. hollywood is almost as bad as the "religious" wrong. i'm more concerned with quality, not quantity.

    Posted by: northalabama | Aug 21, 2013 10:22:33 AM


  15. All men are capable of homosexual acts. That's why they fear us. It is the act they fear, and not the identity of homosexuality.

    While it's true that gay and bi men are everywhere, movies and music tend to shun us at the level of marketing..

    Posted by: Brent silverstein | Aug 21, 2013 10:25:13 AM


  16. I'm surprised at how many stupid gays on here are actually defending the studios. Most of the major motion pictures that actually do have gay characters are little supporting roles. Tell me, how many films from major studios have gay characters that are main characters? Also, tell me how many openly gay actors there are in lead roles?

    I'm waiting.

    Posted by: Well | Aug 21, 2013 10:36:22 AM


  17. I'm surprised at how many stupid gays on here are actually defending the studios. Most of the major motion pictures that actually do have gay characters are little supporting roles. Tell me, how many films from major studios have gay characters that are main characters? Also, tell me how many openly gay actors there are in lead roles?

    I'm waiting.

    Posted by: Well | Aug 21, 2013 10:36:22 AM


  18. Film, and really TV too, and as has said above, the music industry as well, are not inclusive regarding depictions of the LGBT community because they feel it's a risk that isn't worth taking. Until they feel it isn't a risk, they're not going to be very inclusive. And as Well put it, most gay characters across the board are in minor supporting roles, and virtually never a major character.

    Few major out actors. Few major out musicians. The entertainment world, where the men are what, 50% gay at least, is keeping us in the dark and it's obvious.

    Posted by: Francis #1 | Aug 21, 2013 11:13:32 AM


  19. @Nano,

    Yeah, I know. But I was referencing the actual number of gay and bi men in the industry, both performers and management.

    LOL...some of the most homophobic people I've ever met have been musicians and artists! I think the stereotype p*sses them off.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Aug 21, 2013 11:16:29 AM


  20. Who cares what GLAAD thinks? It is a toothless organization more interested in preserving its Hollywood/Media connections than in actual advocacy.

    Posted by: Mark | Aug 21, 2013 11:30:33 AM


  21. Now I've seen everything. Throwing in gay characters just for the sake of having a gay character there seems important to "WELL," and "Nano" is complaining about the music charts, which are based on sales, as if somehow now MATH is homophobic? Guess what? Adam Lambert and Elton John don't put out hits every other week, and people SHOULDN'T buy crappy music by an artist just because they are gay. People buy music that they think sounds good.

    Posted by: JY | Aug 21, 2013 11:41:19 AM


  22. I agree 1000%! I can't even remember the last time I saw a gay character in an American-made movie. It's as though we don't exist - even though we go to the movies a lot. Come on Hollywood, you're supposed to be liberal - throw a few gay characters in every now and then!! It'll be great for business and diversity.

    Posted by: David From Canada | Aug 21, 2013 12:53:51 PM


  23. Movies aren't community centers, they are profit centers. Look at how many good male violence movies are ruined or at least watered down by superfluous romantic subplots between the leading man and some female. Why? BECAUSE WOMEN SPEND MONEY. That's why. Because women are a disproportionate share of the audience and they like romantic fantasy. So you have to pollute a perfectly good thriller with heterosexuality.

    Posted by: Hagatha | Aug 21, 2013 1:07:14 PM


  24. The born again Christians play this game. They whine about there not being any "Christians" in TV shows. Horse crap! There are Christians all over TV shows, it's just that video of people sitting in church is boring and they don't wear signs out in the real world.

    There are plenty of gay characters on the screen. They are pumping gas, waiting on tables, driving by in their English suit and German car, waiting for the bus, walking the dog, walking the beat, selling hot dogs, selling drugs, picking up garbage (wastepaper not Chelsea).

    Posted by: Hagatha | Aug 21, 2013 1:10:39 PM


  25. David From Canada - What does a gay character look like? Is the hot dog vendor gay or straight? How about the drug dealer in the background? The guy walking his dog? The woman with a baby? The cab driver? The guy in the English suit and the German car?

    Posted by: Hagatha | Aug 21, 2013 1:14:14 PM


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