Drastic decrease of LGBT visibility in 2015 films: GLAAD
If you were to ask GLAAD, the track record of LGBT visibility in media isn’t any better since the previous years with the racial diversity of LGBT characters drastically having decreased across 2015 films.
“Straight-washing” has been a never-ending trend since the dawn of time, but last year’s roster was terribly disappointing, considering how our society today has started accepting the LGBT community with open arms.
Assessing LGBT visibility in films, media
GLAAD’s Studio Responsibility Index (SRI) maps the quantity, quality, and diversity of images of LGBT people in films released by the seven largest studios during the calendar year.
The report is intended to serve as a roadmap toward increasing fair, accurate and inclusive LGBT film representations.
The group found that of the 126 releases from the major studios in 2015, only 22 (17.5 percent) included characters identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender. The majority of LGBT characters in 2015 were minor roles though.
“There remains very little consistency in representation of LGBT people in film. This lack of consistency is not only seen across each studio’s yearly slates, but also throughout each studio’s year-to-year performance, as we continue to see their ratings drop from ‘Good’ to ‘Adequate’ or ‘Failing’, “ said Sarah Kate Ellis, President & CEO of GLAAD.
LGBT visibility and the studios
Of the seven major film studios that were analyzed, three of them failed, including the Walt Disney Studios. Of the major US film studios, Disney may be the most recognizable, with a well-defined brand identity that has spread across the globe.
But being the distinguished company that it is, it hasn’t really done much for the LGBT community. Of all the studios tracked in this report, Disney has the weakest historical record when it comes to LGBT-inclusive films.
GLAAD said Disney “completely excluded LGBT characters in their 2015 film slates.”
As recent successful animated films and TV programs have shown, (Oscar-nominated ParaNorman, Cartoon Network’s Steven Universe), LGBT people appearing in “all ages“ programming—animated or not—is not the impossible notion it once was.
Given that LGBT people are already part of families and communities around the world, films of all genres should reflect that.
LGBT visibility in movies and TV
Disney has recently released news of having a sequel for the critically acclaimed movie Frozen and netizens, particularly on Twitter (#GiveElsaAGirlfriend), demand to have the first lesbian Disney Princess.
This may be the perfect chance for Walt Disney Studios to redeem itself.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t helps that while other shows have included LGBT people, there has been an uncomfortable trend of TV deaths lately of a number of lesbian and bisexual characters.
Fortunately, we now have the Lexa Pledge to save not only the few beloved LGBT characters we have on television but also to push for further LGBT diversity in media.