GLAAD has released its annual Studio Responsibility Index — an annual report card that measures LGBTQ diversity in Hollywood. And this year's results are better than the last.
Of the 110 films released by the seven largest studios in 2018, 20 (18.2 percent) had LGBTQ characters. In 2017, only 12.8 percent had any queer diversity — an all-time low for Tinseltown.
Broken down, 11 films last year had gay characters, 11 films had lesbian characters, three films had bisexual characters, and zero films had transgender characters — the second year in a row this omission has occurred.
While there were more LGBTQ characters in 2018 than 2017, a lower percentage were people of color: 42 percent versus 57 percent, respectively. However, there were six LGBTQ characters of Asian/Pacific Islander background in 2018 films; previously, there were none.
As it did last year, GLAAD is asking major studios to set goals for increasing LGBTQ representation in films: 20 percent of characters by 2021 and 50 percent by 2024. Four studios actually hit the former goal in 2018: 20th Century Fox (40 percent), Universal Pictures (30 percent), Warner Brothers (22 percent), and Paramount Pictures (20 percent).
Using its "Vito Russo Test," GLAAD assigned grades to major studios based on the quantity, diversity, and quality of LGBTQ representation: Excellent, Good (Universal Pictures, 20th Century Fox), Insufficient (Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures, and Warner Brothers), Poor, or Failing (Lionsgate Entertainment and Walt Disney Studios).
In a statement, Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD's president and CEO, noted several standouts among the releases but cautioned there was still much work to be done in advancing LGBTQ representation.
“The successful releases of films including Love, Simon, Deadpool 2, and Blockers brought fresh LGBTQ stories to audiences around the world and have raised the bar for LGBTQ inclusion in film,” she said. “While the film industry should include more stories of LGBTQ people of color and transgender people, studios are finally addressing the calls from LGBTQ people and allies around the world who want to see more diversity in films.”
"We know that inclusion is both the right thing to do and good for the bottom line. Audiences supported standout LGBTQ-inclusive wide releases last year with both their dollars and social buzz. Nielsen found that LGBTQ audiences are 22 percent more likely to see a theatrical release more than once,” added Megan Townsend, GLAAD’s director of entertainment research and analysis. “The studios should recognize the power of LGBTQ moviegoers and the desire for stories that reflect ourselves, and create and market more films for this audience who is ready to buy tickets.”
Crazy Rich Asians and The Girl in the Spider’s Web were also among the 13 major-studio releases that passed the Vito Russo Test in 2018.
Read the full report at GLAAD.org, and watch a video below of Greg Berlanti, Lena Waithe, Troye Sivan, Samira Wiley, and more explaining the importance of LGBTQ representation.