GLAAD's fifth annual report on
Hollywood films found few meaningful roles for lesbian,gay, bisexual
and transgender characters during the 2016 calendar year.
GLAAD found 23 of the 125 films that it
counted featured an LGBT character last year, an increase from 2015
with 14 such characters. But only 9 of these characters passed the
group's “Vito Russo Test” named after one of its co-founders. To
pass the test, characters cannot be solely or predominantly defined
by their sexual orientation or gender identity and must be “tied
into the plot in such a way that their removal would have a
significant effect.” Eight of last year's 14 characters passed the
test, a higher percentage than in 2016.
Universal Pictures received the highest
mark, rating “insufficient.” 20th Century Fox,
Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros earned a “poor” rating, while
Lionsgate Entertainment, Sony Pictures and Walt Disney Studios earned
a “failing” mark.
“It's not getting better,” GLAAD
President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis told Variety.
“The bars are not being moved.”
2017 Studio Responsibility Index found only one transgender
character. “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 punchline in
Zoolander 2,” the group wrote.
“With many of the most popular TV
shows proudly including LGBTQ characters and stories, the time has
come for the film industry to step up and show the full diversity of
the world that movie audiences are living in today instead and end
the outdated humor seen in many films,” said Ellis. “Films like
‘Moonlight’ prove there is a huge opportunity to not only tell
LGBTQ stories worthy of Oscar gold, but to open the hearts and minds
of audiences here and around the world in places where these stories
can be a lifeline to the people who need it most.”