Only 23 of 125 major releases included LGBTQ characters in 2016.
By Lisa Respers France
GLAAD released its fifth annual Studio Responsibility Index report on Thursday, and it’s not good news for Hollywood.
The report maps diversity of LGBTQ people in films released by the seven largest motion picture studios and their subsidiaries.
Lionsgate Entertainment, Sony Pictures and Walt Disney Studios were given “failing” ratings; 20th Century Fox, Paramount and Warner Bros. were rated “poor” for 2016.
“With many of the most popular TV shows proudly including LGBTQ characters and stories, the time has come for the film industry to step up and show the full diversity of the world that movie audiences are living in today instead and end the outdated humor seen in films like ‘Baywatch,'” GLAAD President and Chief Executive Officer Sarah Kate Ellis said in press release on the study.
Of the 125 releases from major studios in 2016, the report cited only 23 that included characters identified as LGBTQ.
Gay men were the most represented group with 83% of the inclusive films featuring gay male characters.
Lesbian portrayals rose from 23% in 2015 to 35% last year, while bisexual representation appeared in 13% of LGBTQ-inclusive films.
But even when the LGBTQ characters are included in movies, they sometimes aren’t identified as such.
GLAAD noted that the character of Harley Quinn’s bisexual identity, which is front and center in the comic books, was “completely erased” in the “Suicide Squad” film it inspired.
As for transgender representation, the only transgender character counted was used as a punchline to a joke in “Zoolander 2.”
Despite films like Oscar-winner “Moonlight,” GLAAD found a five-percentage point drop in LGBTQ characters of color in 2016, which marked a decrease for the second consecutive year.
GLAAD’s rating system for the studios was excellent, good, insufficient, poor, or failing. Universal Pictures was the only studio to be rated “insufficient.”
No studio has ever been rated “excellent.”