The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation’s (GLAAD) annual report into LGBT representation in the entertainment industry has revealed an 18% drop in LGBT characters in mainstream releases for 2017 compared to 2016.
Of the 109 studio films released last year, 14 featured LGBT characters, according to the Studio Responsibility Index. Of 12.8 percent of LGBT characters, 43% were white, with 28.5% black and 28.5% Latin American.
The bulk of those characters were cisgender men and there were no transgender characters at all. However, the study found the racial diversity of characters had improved in 2017.
GLAAD president Sarah Kate Ellis said she was more hopeful with the results of 2018 with films like Love, Simon, Annihilation, Deadpool 2 and Blockers.
“If Hollywood wants to remain relevant with these audiences and keep them buying tickets, they must create stories that are reflective of the world LGBTQ people and our friends and family know.
“This needs to take place in the major studio releases that play in wide release all over the country – and indeed, all around the world – as well as in the indie films that have long been home to stand-out queer and trans stories.”
The report also noted that despite Wonder Woman, Black Panther, and Thor: Ragnarok all featuring characters that are well-established as queer in the comic books, none of the films made mention of the fact.
“With wildly successful films like Wonder Woman and Black Panther proving that audiences want to see diverse stories that haven’t been told before, there is simply no reason for major studios to have such low scores on the Studio Responsibility Index.
“At a time when the entertainment industry is holding much-needed discussions about inclusion, now is the time to ensure the industry takes meaningful action and incorporates LGBTQ stories and creators as among priorities areas for growing diversity.”