LGBTQ Representation in Film Hits Peak While GLAAD, Guilds Caution Strikes Risk Progress – Hollywood Reporter

GLAAD has released the 11th installment of its Studio Responsibility Index, an annual study that tracks “the quantity, quality and diversity” of LGBTQ characters in films released in a calendar year by 10 Hollywood distributors.

The results found that of 350 titles released in 2022, 100 films, or 28.5 percent, featured an LGBTQ character, marking the highest number recorded in the time GLAAD has conducted the study. It should be noted, however, that in today’s peak content landscape, the number of films tracked has also increased, per GLAAD.

In those 100 films, there were 292 LGBTQ characters including 117, or 40 percent, characters of color. Of the 292, 163 were men, 119 women and 10 nonbinary. Seven of the women characters and six of the men were transgender. The showings marked a record number of nonbinary characters. Also a record: 12 of 350 films included a transgender character. Eleven LGBTQ characters were counted with a disability, also a high.

While the data showed gains for LGBTQ representation, not all characters had significant screen time. Over half of the LGBTQ characters (165 of 292, or 56 percent) turned up in less than five minutes of the film while 86 of those appeared for less than one minute. While 95 characters (33 percent) clocked over 10 minutes, 32 (11 percent) were between five and 10 minutes, and 79 (27 percent) clocked between one and five minutes.

For the 2022 report, GLAAD increased the number of studios it tracked from seven to 10 distributors. The companies included A24, Amazon Studios, Apple TV+, Lionsgate, NBCUniversal, Netflix, Paramount Global, Sony Pictures Entertainment, The Walt Disney Co. and Warner Bros. Discovery. For the first time, three studios earned a grade of “Good” based on their offerings including A24, NBCUniversal and the Walt Disney Company. Per GLAAD, no studio has yet snagged an “Excellent” rating.

A24 released the Oscar-winning best picture Everything Everywhere All at Once; Bodies, Bodies, Bodies; The Inspection; The Whale; and Aftersun, all of which contained LGBTQ characters. NBCUniversal released Bros, Nope, Tár, Spoiler Alert and They/Them. As for Disney and its subsidiaries, the studio is credited with Lightyear, Strange World, Fire Island, Crush, Zombies 3 and Better Nate Than Ever.

GLAAD released the findings Thursday and partnered with SAG-AFTRA and Writers Guild officials for a press conference held at the Village at Ed Gould Plaza at the Los Angeles LGBT Center. Scheduled to join GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis were SAG-AFTRA national executive director and chief negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, WGA vp Michele Mulroney, actress Alexandra Grey, actor and co-chair of SAG-AFTRA’s national LGBTQ committee Jason Stuart, vice chair of WGA’s LGBTQ writers committee JJ Wienkers-Alvendia, co-chair of WGA’s LGBTQ writers committee Spiro Skentzos, and Los Angeles LGBT Center marketing and communications chief Phillip Picardi.

The purpose of the joint press conference was to “challenge film studio leadership on their commitments to the LGBTQ community and audiences at-large and outline the critical need to reach a fair deal and get striking creators and writers at all levels back to work, or risk erasing gains made in LGBTQ representation in recent years,” per the organization.

“It is crucial that the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) reach a fair deal with striking writers and performers – that these talented creatives can return to work as soon as possible, so that the progress made in LGBTQ representation remains on track,” said Ellis. “LGBTQ stories told through film have a powerful and inextricable link to culture-change. With more people than ever now empowered to live authentically and openly, the cost of lost progress in LGBTQ representation on-screen means erasure. As the LGBTQ movement has always been, this is a fight and a demand to exist.”

In the report, Ellis states, “GLAAD firmly stands in solidarity with the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) and the Writers Guild of America (WGA) in their efforts and contributions to fair and accurate storytelling integral to the LGBTQ movement. It is crucial that The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) reach a fair deal with striking writers and creators — that these talented creatives can return to work as soon as possible, so that the progress made in LGBTQ representation remains on track.”

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