GLAAD fails Sony, Disney on gay films

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender characters may be showing up on American television with increasing regularity, but not enough, according to GLAAD.

In its third annual report about LGBT representation on film, the gay advocacy group GLAAD, found that of the 114 releases from the major studios in 2014, only 20 of them, or 17.5 percent, included characters identified as lesbian, gay or bisexual.

Grading the individual studios on their performance, GLAAD awarded a “good” to Warner Bros, an “adequate” to Fox, Lionsgate, Paramount and Universal and “failing” grades to Sony and Disney. No studio earned a grade of “excellent.”

The figure represented a slight increase from 2013, when 16.7 percent of studio releases were found to be inclusive. But many of the gay characters who appeared on screen in 2015 made only fleeting appearances.

“Of the 20 films we found to be inclusive,” the report, which was released today, said, “10 of those contained less than five minutes of screen time for their LGBT characters — with several being less than 30 seconds — while three others contained less than 10 minutes of screen time.

In the case of several films, audiences may not have been aware that they were seeing LGBT characters if they did not read outside press coverage or were unaware of the real-life LGBT person a character was based on.”

Among the inclusive films, the report found, 65 percent of them featured gay male characters, less than a third featured bisexuals and about one tenth included lesbian characters.

There was a slight increase in racial diversity with 32.1 percent of the characters being people of color, compared to 24 percent in 2013. Of the 28 characters GLAAD counted, 19 were white (67.9 percent), three were black/African-American (10.7 percent), two were Latin (7.1 percent), and four were Asian/Pacific Islander (14.3 percent).

“LGBT people were largely shut out of the genre films (action, sci-fi, fantasy), where Hollywood film studios commit the majority of their capital and promotional resources,” GLAAD said. Additionally, three of 13 animated/family films (23.1 percent), six of 33 dramas (18.2 percent) and none of the three documentaries contained LGBT characters.

Source: Hollywood Reporter