“20th Century Fox and Universal Pictures both received an ‘Insufficient’ rating; Paramount Pictures, Sony Entertainment, and Walt Disney received ‘Poor’ ratings; and Lionsgate Entertainment and Warner Brothers received ‘Failing’ ratings.”
GLAAD found that of the 109 releases from major studios in 2017, only 14 (12.8%) of them included characters that are LGBTQ. This represents a significant decrease from the previous year’s report (18.4%, 23 out of 125), and the lowest percentage of LGBTQ-inclusive major studio releases since GLAAD began tracking in 2012. Not one of the 109 releases included a transgender character, a drop from the one transgender character portrayed in 2016, who only served as a punchline.
While the number of LGBTQ characters dropped substantially year over year, there was a welcome increase in racial diversity of LGBTQ characters. In 2017, the majority of LGBTQ characters were people of color (57%, 16 of 28). However, there were no Asian/Pacific Islander LGBTQ characters in major studio releases in 2017.
In this year’s Studio Responsibility Index, GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis called on the seven major film studios to make sure that 20% of annual major studio releases include LGBTQ characters by 2021, and that 50% of films include LGBTQ characters by 2024. The GLAAD Media Institute will unveil a roadmap for Hollywood to grow LGBTQ inclusion in film during an event hosted by global entertainment agency WME and Endeavor Content later today. The event will feature remarks from GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis as well as a panel discussion on LGBTQ images in film. Panelists include Emmy-winning writer, producer, and actor Lena Waithe (“Master of None,” “The Chi,” “Ready Player One”), director and writer Kay Cannon (“Blockers,” “Pitch Perfect”), and actor Nico Santos (“Crazy Rich Asians,” “Superstore”) who will address LGBTQ creators and industry executives.
GLAAD adds that “of the 14 LGBTQ-inclusive major studio releases in 2017, only 9 (64%) passed the Vito Russo Test, the same number of passing films as the previous year.” The Vito Russo test criteria are that the film contains a character that is LGBTQ and “that character must not be solely or predominantly defined by their sexual orientation or gender identity” and “must be tied into the plot in such a way that their removal would have a significant effect.”
Read the full report HERE.