NEW YORK – GLAAD, the world’s LGBTQ media advocacy organization, recently released its fifth annual Studio Responsibility Index - a report that maps the quantity, quality, and diversity of LGBTQ people in films released by the seven largest motion picture studios during the 2016 calendar year.
GLAAD found that of the 125 releases from major studios in 2016, only 23 of them (18.4%) included characters identified as LGBTQ. Gay men are still by far the most represented group with 83% of inclusive films featuring gay male characters.
Lesbian portrayals rose from 23% in 2015 to 35% of inclusive films featuring lesbian characters. Bisexual representation appeared in 13% of LGBTQ-inclusive films. At the same time, Harley Quinn’s bi-identity, which is front and center in the comic books that inspired the film, was completely erased in the Suicide Squad film.
Transgender representation remains abysmally low, with only one transgender character counted, the same number as the 2015 report, and once again the character was used as a punch-line in Zoolander 2.
GLAAD also found that racial diversity among LGBTQ characters in film again dropped drastically year over year. In 2016, only 20% of LGBTQ characters were people of color, compared to 25.5% in 2015 and 32.1% in 2014.
Based on the overall quantity, quality, and diversity of LGBTQ representation, a grade was then assigned to each studio: Excellent, Good, Insufficient, Poor, or Failing. No studios received grades of ‘Excellent’ or ‘Good.’ Universal Pictures was the only studio to be rated ‘Insufficient.’ 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, and Warner Brothers were rated ‘Poor.’ Lionsgate Entertainment, Sony Pictures, and Walt Disney Studios were all rated ‘Failing.’ No studio has ever received an ‘Excellent’ rating.