GLAAD Gives Fox, Disney Failing Grade on LGBT-Inclusive Films
The first annual GLAAD Studio Responsibility Index was released Wednesday, providing an in-depth look at the quantity, quality, and diversity of LGBT characters in the films produced my mainstream Hollywood studios. And the results aren't particularly encouraging.
Out of the 101 films released by six major studios — 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, Sony Columbia, Universal Pictures, the Walt Disney Studios, and Warner Bros. — just 14 films included characters who were identifiably lesbian, gay, or bisexual. Zero of those more than 100 films included an identifiably transgender character.
To judge each studio's LGBT-inclusiveness, GLAAD introduced the "Vito Russo Test," which was inspired by the Bechdel Test and named after GLAAD cofounder and celebrated film historian Vito Russo. The criteria included whether a film contains a character that is identifiably LGBT and requires that such a character not be defined solely or predominantly by their sexual orientation and be integral to the film's plot so that their removal would have "a significant effect." GLAAD notes that just six of the 14 films that included LGB characters last year actually pass the Vito Russo Test.
Ultimately, the report delivered a failing grade to both 20th Century Fox and Disney, while it found Paramount, Sony, Universal, and Warner Bros. "adequate" in their LGBT inclusivity. Regardless, GLAAD's recommendations include increased visibility for LGBT people across every major Hollywood studio.