GLAAD Rates The Movies!
For the first time and in the footsteps of its "Where We Are On TV" annual report, GLAAD has released a ranking of the six big U.S. movie studios and their presentations of gay and lesbian characters in films that were released in 2012? So, how did the movies treat the community last year?
Here's an overview of the 2013 Studio Responsibility Index (SRI):
-GLAAD found that of the 101 releases from the major studios in 2012, 14 of them contained characters identified as lesbian, gay, or bisexual. The vast majority of these characters were no more than cameos or minor roles. None of the films tracked contained any transgender characters.
-Percentage of LGBT inclusion is low, but diversity of LGBT characters is even lower with 84% of LGBT characters being white and 56% being male.
-Universal Pictures had the highest number of characters included while some of the other big six studios included zero.
-GLAAD also introduced the "Vito Russo Test," a set of criteria analyzing how LGBT characters are represented in a fictional work.
GLAAD's Vito Russo Test consists of the following assessments:
1. The film contains a character that is identifiably lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender (LGBT).
2. That character must not be solely or predominantly defined by their sexual orientation or gender identity (i.e. the character is made up of the same sort of unique character traits commonly used to differentiate straight characters from one another).
3. The LGBT character must be tied into the plot in such a way that their removal would have a significant effect. Meaning they are not there to simply provide colorful commentary, paint urban authenticity, or (perhaps most commonly) set up a punchline; the character should matter.
According to GLAAD, only six of the 14 films including LGBT characters passed the test.
Universal ranked highest on the report, with 20th Century Fox falling at the bottom of the scale thanks to zero LGBT representations in any of its 2012 releases.
“As a major influence in American culture and one of our nation's largest media exports abroad, the lack of LGBT characters in big-budget films needs to change,” said GLAAD's Wilson Cruz. “Until LGBT characters are depicted in these films in a substantial way with more regularity, there will remain the appearance of LGBT bias on the studios’ part. Whether it's an action hero or a supporting character, moviegoers should be able to see LGBT people as integral players in the stories told by leading Hollywood studios.”