More gay and lesbian characters in 2018 movies: GLAAD
Slowly but surely, more gay and lesbian characters are appearing on the big screen with last year’s batch of movies having the most, according to a report released by GLAAD.
However, GLAAD’s seventh annual Studio Responsibility Index (SRI) reported that transgender characters were entirely absent on the screen, as well as LGBTQ kids.
Moreover, racial diversity of LGBTQ characters was down.
Gay and lesbian characters by the numbers
The LGBT media monitoring organization, GLAAD, uses the SRI to map the quantity, quality and diversity of LGBTQ characters in movies released by the seven major motion picture studios for the year.
The goal of this report is to see whether there is “fair, accurate, and inclusive LGBTQ representation on film.”
For last year, GLAAD said that 20 out of 110 releases from major studies included LGBTQ characters, or 18.2 percent.
This was higher than 2017’s 12.8 percent, or 14 out of 109 films, which was the lowest in the report’s seven-year history.
The year 2018 also had the second highest percentage of inclusive films, behind 18.4 percent or 23 out of 125 in 2016.
Breakdown of gay and lesbian characters
For this year as well, gay and lesbian characters got an equal number of films: 55 percent of LGBTQ-inclusive films for gay characters, and 55 percent as well featuring lesbian characters.
Meanwhile, the number of bisexual characters was steady at 15 percent, while transgender characters were absent for the second year in a row.
Moreover, there was a drop in racial diversity of LGBTQ characters with only 42 percent of LGBTQ characters being people of color from 57 percent in 2017.
“The successful releases of films including Love, Simon, Deadpool 2 and Blockers, brought fresh LGBTQ stories to audiences around the world and have raised the bar for LGBTQ inclusion in film,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President and CEO.
“While the film industry should include more stories of LGBTQ people of color and transgender people, studios are finally addressing the calls from LGBTQ people and allies around the world who want to see more diversity in films,” Ellis said.
Lack of transgender characters in films
The irony of having absent transgender characters in movies in 2018 can be seen with the groundbreaking television series Pose on the small screen.
Pose by FX not only features transgender stories, it also has trans creators behind the scenes.
Furthermore, the superhero TV show Supergirl, which originally aired on CBS and then on The CW, introduced TV’s first transgender superhero.
Sadly, while the film, A Fantastic Woman, the story of a transgender woman, brought home an Oscar, it wasn’t a mainstream release from the major US studios.
Megan Townsend, GLAAD’s Director of Entertainment Research & Analysis, said: “The studios should recognize the power of LGBTQ moviegoers and the desire for stories that reflect ourselves, and create and market more films for this audience who is ready to buy tickets.”
LGBTQ people of color on movie screens
Despite the decrease of LGBTQ people of color, GLAAD counted six Asian and Pacific Islander characters that were LGBTQ, or 13 percent. Last year, Asian and Pacific Islander characters were absent from mainstream releases.
For Latinx queer characters, there was also a drop: from 28.5 percent in 2017 to 7 percent last year.
GLAAD also made the further breakdown: of the 20 LGBTQ-inclusive films released last year, ten movies featured more than ten minutes of screen-time for the LGBTQ character.
Likewise, of the 45 LGBTQ characters, 26 had less than three minutes of screen and 16 had less than a minute.
However, none of the 18 films in the category of animated or family films that were released had LGBTQ characters. This is the first time in five years that not a single film in the said genre was LGBTQ-inclusive.