A new report from GLAAD paints a bleak picture of LGBT representation in Hollywood.
According to the 2016 GLAAD Studio Responsibility Index, LGBT representation in Hollywood got worse in 2015 compared to 2014. LGBT people had shockingly few roles in films made by the industry’s major studios, and those roles were given only marginal screen time.
The report out Monday found that of 126 releases from major studios in 2015, only 22 of them (17.5%) included characters that identified as LGBT. That is not a change from 2014 which saw the same percentage of LGBT-identified characters in major studio films. However, In 2015, 25.5% of LGBT characters were people of color, compared to 32.1% in 2014. Of LGBT characters counted by GLAAD in 2015, 34 (72.3%) were White, 5 were Latino/a (10.6%), 4 were Black/African American (8.5%), and 3 (6.4%) were Asian/Pacific Islander.
Breaking down how the characters identify, the overwhelming majority of LGBT characters that were represented were gay and white.
Of the 22 LGBT-inclusive films, 77% featured gay male characters, 23% included lesbian characters, and 9% included bisexual characters. Perhaps most damning, there was only one film among all releases from major studios that included a transgender character.
And it wasn’t just about the number of LGBT characters. The few that were depicted were short-changed in terms of screen time. Seventy-three percent of LGBT-inclusive films gave LGBT characters less than ten minutes of screen time.
GLAAD did not give any of the studios it surveyed a “Good” rating for their 2015 releases. 20th Century Fox, Lionsgate Entertainment, Sony Columbia Pictures, and Universal Pictures all received ratings of “Adequate”, while Paramount Pictures, Walt Disney Studios, and Warner Brothers all received a “Failing”
grade for their portrayals of LGBT people.
Said Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President & CEO, “Hollywood’s films lag far behind any other form of media when it comes to portrayals of LGBT characters. Too often, the few LGBT characters that make it to the big screen are the target of a punchline or token characters. The film industry must embrace new and inclusive stories if it wants to remain competitive and relevant.”
Watch a video from GLAAD that nails why LGBT underrepresentation matter, and why making LGBT people the butt of offensive jokes is so damaging, below.
And read GLAAD’s full report here.