GLAAD Slams Hollywood Movie Studios For Lack Of LGBT Representation
Hollywood movie studios are failing in their representation of LGBT characters--as least as determined by GLAAD's 2014 Studio Responsibility Index.
GLAAD studied 102 films released in 2013 by the seven largest film studios: 20th Century Fox, Lionsgate, Paramount Pictures, Sony Columbia Pictures, Universal Pictures, Walt Disney Studios, and Warner Brothers. Of the films reviewed only 17 featured gay, lesbian or bisexual characters. Of those 17 characters, only seven characters were well-rounded LGBT people.
What defines "well rounded?" GLAAD made its assessment based on the Vito Russo Test (inspired by the Bechdel Test). To pass the Vito Russo Test the following must be true:
- The film contains a character that is identifiably lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender.
- That character must not be solely or predominantly defined by their sexual orientation or gender identity. I.E. they are made up of the same sort of unique character traits commonly used to differentiate straight characters from one another.
- 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.”
The results varied for different studios. Paramount and Warner Brothers received a "failing" grade from GLAAD for including only minor and offensive LGBT characters in their 2013 films. Walt Disney Studios, Lionsgate, 20th Century Fox, and Universal Pictures received "adequate" grades. GLAAD determined that Sony Columbia's use of LGBT characters earned the studio a "good" score--making it the first and only studio to receive it. No studio received an "excellent" grade.
GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis said, "The lack of substantial LGBT characters in mainstream film, in addition to the outdated humor and stereotypes suggests large Hollywood studios may be doing more harm than good when it comes to worldwide understanding of the LGBT community.
These studios have the eyes and ears of millions of audience members, and should reflect the true fabric of our society rather than feed into the hatred and prejudice against LGBT people too often seen around the globe."
Ellis continued, "LGBT people come from all walks of life; we're your family members, coworkers, neighbors, and peers. Hollywood should strive to reflect that truth, rather than turn us into jokes or simply edit us out."
What do you think of GLAAD's studio assessment, Instincters?
(H/T: Edge New England)