Hollywood Is Not Doing So Hot When It Comes To LGBT Portrayals

Image: Miramix/Screen Gems.
Last fall, representations of LGBT characters on the big and small screens seemed to have taken a turn for the better. According to GLAAD's Network Responsibility Index, both ABC and Fox were indexing high when it came to portraying diverse, quality characters and plot lines dealing with sexual orientation and gender identities. Unfortunately, while television seems to be doing fairly well, the studios are doing worse than ever by the LGBT community. This week, GLAAD shared findings from its fourth-annual Studio Responsibility Index study, which surveyed 126 major releases from last year. The study found that only 22 of those movies included LGBT characters. It gets worse: Of those 22 films, almost 75% featured fewer than 10 minutes of screen time for LGBT characters. Hot Pursuit was the only major movie that featured a trans character. The GLAAD study also highlighted "blatant and incessant gay panic humor" in two Kevin Hart films: Get Hard and The Wedding Ringer. "Humor can be a powerful tool for holding a mirror up to society and challenging the norm," the study authors noted. "But when crafted without thought, it has much the opposite effect and bolsters ignorance and prejudice." (Hart has admitted in the past that he is opposed to playing a gay character on screen. "I can't," he explained last year. "Not because I have any ill will or disrespect, but because I don't think I'm really going to dive into that role 100%, because of insecurities about myself trying to pay that part. Does that make sense?") In the end, not a single studio included in the study received a "Good" rating from GLAAD. Paramount, Disney, and Warner Bros. all failed; while Lionsgate, Fox, Sony, and Universal received "Adequate" ratings.

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