GLAAD Report: Movies Improving for Gay Characters, Still Lack Transgender Roles

Tammy Movie Melissa McCarthy
Image Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Studios are slowly starting to show more lesbian, gay and bisexual characters on film, according to the annual Studio Responsibility Index released today by media advocacy group GLAAD.

The report, which studied releases from the seven major studios in 2014, found that 20 of the 114 movies (17.5%) that bowed last year had characters who identified as lesbian, gay, or bisexual. This is slightly more from 2013, when that percentage was 16.7% (17 of 102 films). However, none of these films included a character who identified as transgender. (This year also marked the first time that GLAAD examined smaller affiliated studios, finding that 11% of the 47 total films released by Focus Features, Fox Searchlight, Roadside Attractions, and Sony Pictures Classics were LGBT inclusive).

This increased number from the major studios didn’t necessarily equate to better representation, the report found. The majority of these characters were gay men (65%), while a third (30%) featured bisexual characters and about one tenth (10%) including lesbian characters. The characters were also almost all white (19 characters or 67.9%). Most of these parts were minor roles and most of the films were comedies (42.1%), animated/family films (23.1%) or dramas (18.2%), as opposed to the blockbuster action or sci-fi films that garner larger audiences.

“As television and streaming services continue to produce a remarkable breadth of diverse LGBT representations, we still struggle to find depictions anywhere near as authentic or meaningful in mainstream Hollywood film. The industry continues to look increasingly out of touch by comparison, and still doesn’t represent the full diversity of the American cultural fabric,” said GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis.

GLAAD did state that it found fewer overtly defamatory depictions in mainstream film in 2014, although there were blatant examples in films like 20th Century Fox’s “Exodus: Gods and Kings” and Warner Bros.’ “Horrible Bosses 2.”

Still, in part because of the Melissa McCarthy movie “Tammy,” Warner Bros. was the only major studio to receive a “good” rating for 2014 (no studio has ever received an excellent rating). Given the recent upset over the Will Ferrell-Kevin Hart comedy “Get Hard,” it’s unlikely that will carry over to the next report.

“While we were pleased to see Warner Brothers show real improvement in its LGBT-inclusive films in 2014, they also recently released the comedy ‘Get Hard,’ one of the most problematic films we have seen in some time. This glaring lack of consistency seems to be common amongst almost every major film studio, showing a need for greater oversight in how their films represent – or don’t represent – significant portions of their audience,” said Ellis. “Only when they make those changes and catch up to other, more consistently inclusive media portrayals will we be able to say that America’s film industry is a full partner in accelerating acceptance.”

Read the full report.

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  1. Free Speech says:

    When politicians want to suppress free speech, the trend is to increase the gay male content and decrease the lesbian content. Maybe they think the voters will become less aggressive or something. It obviously doesn’t work.

  2. Quadro Stromboli says:

    Gay character are EVERYWHERE in movies and TV today. What the hell are they talking about? They’re acting like Hollywood is stuck back in 1958.

  3. Marketing, and not the Hollywood communiy, is the determinant for casting roles in movies. Films cost, and producers are looking for a return on their investers’ risk. For more than half the 20th Century, African Americans were not cast in any significant roles due to racism among the populace. Only when it abated among enough Southern and Western states were black people given less menial, more meaningful roles.

    Casting film is about the marketplace, now more than ever.

  4. Odessa says:

    LGBTQ people are mentally ill. Seek help.

  5. Horrible! So our society is filled with people about which there’s honest medical and psychological disagreement, but let’s just go ahead and tilt the scales in our favor by influencing America with programming. Leading to more and more moms who lift themselves up in this freakish society by giving their sons hormone blockers. It’s criminal. I used to try on ladies clothes as a kid, sure, but it doesn’t mean I should’ve been urged in one direction or another by anyone! It just means I was playing around with the world and finding myself. We have to stop affecting the puberty and long term development of our kids just because those moms want to be champions of a movement that they don’t realize has brainwashed them. Just so they can be “more successful” in their transition and not have to deal with stubble? These parents are awful.

  6. Boy101 says:

    Who was gay in Horrible bosses 2?

  7. Upman says:

    What a sick world.

  8. Just Some Dude says:

    These people complain about their representation? Gays make up, at most, 3% of the population. However, Hollywood portrays them in over 17% of roles! How can you complain about that? Hollywood is supposed to portray them as 1/4 or more of the population? Get real!

    • Marco says:

      First, hi homophobe.

      Second, the main problem is the quality. Not only are there so few characters (I’m seriously thinking you switched the percentuals) but most of them are window dressing or stereotypes.

      • Ezra says:

        Homophobe means nothing these days. It is so overused at the drop of a hat, no one cares. If you want to call names, Marco, there are some much more entertaining ones that could be sent your way to you.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s really about the insularity of the creative community – they look around them and expect to see the world they know reflected on screen. This is actually an opposing force to what much of the country and the world expects as well.

      • JanJan says:

        Except there are only 1.8 percent in the population, so they should look around and see very few, as in much of the country and the world, not on every sitcom… and GLAAD shouldn’t be trolling for numbers higher than the exorbitant and creatively unfair numbers we deal with now.

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