GLAAD Studio Responsibility Index Reveals Lack of LGBT Visibility

GLAAD's annual report tracked the seven largest motion picture studios during the 2013 calendar year to map the quantity, quality, and diversity of images of LGBT people in films. Find out how each stacked up here.

BY Advocate.com Editors

July 22 2014 6:00 AM ET

Above: Kick Ass 2

Universal Pictures
2013 Rating: Adequate

Last year Universal released 15 movies, and only three of them were LGBT-inclusive; GLAAD gave the studio an "adequate" rating.

In the first Kick-Ass movie, the protagonist was spurred to become a "real world" superhero because he was being bullied and mistaken for gay. While the first film contained no LGBT characters, Kick-Ass 2 included Insect Man, who introduces himself by saying he wanted to stand up for the defenseless after a lifetime of bullying,and that he didn't wear a mask because it felt like being back in the closet. In the Rachel McAdams and Domhnall Gleeson film About Time, Tim (Gleeson) approaches his ex-girlfriend, who is accompanied by another woman. According to GLAAD, the reveal that the ex-girlfriend's companion is a lesbian is not necessarily problematic, but the character exists only to "provide a humorous miscommunication for the protagonist."  

Riddick featured the most significant LGBT character in Universal's releases in the last two years. But even Dahl, a gruff lesbian sniper played by Katee Sackhoff, is still objectified as the only one shown nude in a shower scene, and is the subject of an attempted rape.

Meanwhile, the company's subsidiary Focus Features has a track record of producing or releasing some of the most pivotal LGBT movies of the last decade, including The Kids Are All Right (2010), Pariah (2011), Milk (2008), and Brokeback Mountain (2006). Last year Focus released Dallas Buyers Club as well as the documentary We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks, which included footage of transgender soldier Chelsea Manning.

"Riddick is a film that is transparently designed to appeal to a straight male audience, but Universal (and frankly all the studios) must recognize that going after one audience doesn’t have to mean denigrating and alienating others," the organization said in the study. "As we’ve said before, we must see more LGBT characters in genre films, and there’s no reason those depictions should be compromised to make them 'fit.' Kick-Ass 2 is actually a good example of that, despite that character’s very minor role."

Tags: GLAAD, Media

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