×

Study Finds Bias Persists Against Gay and Lesbian Actors

Over one-third of respondents report 'disrespectful' treatment

A SAG-AFTRA study has found that, even as opportunities and conditions improve, discrimination persists against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender actors.

The survey, based on responses from over 5,600 union members, showed nearly half of lesbian and gay respondents and 27% of bisexual respondents “strongly agreed” that producers and studio execs believe that lesbian and gay performers are less marketable.

The report also found that over a third of LGBT performers, as well as some non-LGBT performers, had witnessed “disrespectful” treatment toward these minorities. And 16% of LGBT respondents reported they had experienced discrimination.

“Gay men were the most likely to report they have experienced some form of discrimination, with one in five reporting an experience,” the union said. “Bisexual actors were about half as likely to report discrimination as gay or lesbian actors.”

The report by SAG-AFTRA and UCLA’s The Williams Institute found one-third of survey respondents believed that casting directors, directors, and producers may be biased against LGBT performers. The survey, released Friday at the first-ever SAG-AFTRA convention, also showed over half of LGBT performers had heard anti-gay comments on set.

Respondents also said SAG-AFTRA members provide a supportive environment for LGBT performers. Additionally, many lesbian and gay respondents said they would encourage others to come out.

“We were pleased to see that our membership is overwhelmingly supportive of LGBT actors, and that many LGBT actors found benefits in coming out,” said Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, SAG-AFTRA’s Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel. “Nonetheless, coming out remains a significant and consequential decision for many performers and we are committed to supporting our members in living honest and authentic personal and professional lives.”

More Film

  • Sabrina Carpenter

    Film News Roundup: Sabrina Carpenter's 'Short History of the Long Road' Finds Distribution

    In today’s film news roundup, Sabrina Carpenter’s “The Short History of the Long Road” gets a home, comedian Jo Koy’s life will become a movie, “True to the Game” is getting a sequel and APA promotes Chris Ridenhour. ACQUISITION FilmRise has acquired Sabrina Carpenter’s coming-of-age drama “The Short History of the Long Road” and is [...]

  • Stella Meghie

    Filmmaker Stella Meghie on Crafting 'The Photograph' and Being a 'Romance Film Nerd'

    Stella Meghie loves love. And she’s currently feeling a lot of it. As “Sonic the Hedgehog” soared to number one over Presidents’ Day weekend, “The Photograph” made a solid $13 million. Catching up with Meghie early Saturday morning after the film’s debut, the writer/director/executive producer admitted she’d been looking at the numbers. “I’m grateful people [...]

  • Robert Pattinson Margaret Qualley

    Robert Pattinson-Margaret Qualley Thriller 'The Stars at Noon' Sells to A24

    A24 has bought North American rights to the thriller “The Stars at Noon,” starring Robert Pattinson and Margaret Qualley. Claire Denis is attached to direct, and wrote the screenplay with Lea Mysius and Andrew Litvack, based on Denis Johnson’s 1986 novel. The deal was announced Tuesday on the eve of the Berlin Film Festival, where Wild [...]

  • The Speech

    Charades Rolls Into EFM with Pre-Sales on 'The Rosemaker,' 'The Speech' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Charades, the sales firm launched three years ago by former execs at Wild Bunch, Gaumont and Studiocanal, will roll into the Berlinale’s European Film Market with a raft of pre-sales on anticipated French projects, including “The Rosemaker” with Catherine Frot and Laurent Tirard’s “The Speech.” Charades will unveil the promos of both films, as well [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content