TL;DR: GLAAD released its annual Studio Responsibility Index this week, finding the percentage of films with LGBTQIA+ characters has decreased.
The GLAAD report analyses the diversity of the characters in major theatrical releases of the previous year.
It found the proportion of films with LGBTQIA+ characters decreased to 20.8% in 2021, down from 22.7% in 2020.
It also found there was a slight decrease in the percentage of characters of colour, and in screen time for LGBTQIA+ characters.
However, for the first time in five years, GLAAD counted a transgender character - Anybodys from Disney’s West Side Story, who is portrayed as a trans man.
None of the characters in the films it analysed had a disability or were living with HIV.
What else did the report show?
While the proportion of films with LGBTQIA+ characters decreased, the numbers were up - 16 of 77 films this year featured LGBTQIA+ characters, while last year it was 10 in 44 - NBC
GLAAD praised Disney for notably increasing the inclusivity of its films this year, despite being given a ‘failing’ grade overall - New York Times
The report said no film studio had sufficient LGBTQIA+ representation in 2021 - IndieWire
While the report states that there is still not enough representation of queer identities on screen overall, it did note “significant progress” has been made in the last decade - Deadline
LGBTQIA+ representation in TV and film has been hotly debated this year.
While they are undeniably more queer characters for us now than five or ten years ago, they’re routinely cancelled after short runs. This year alone, Gentleman Jack, First Kill, Queer as Folk, The Wilds and Love, Victor were all cancelled, leading to swathes of queer fans feeling gutted.
This week, HBO Max cancelled its voguing competition series Legendary.
Meanwhile, right-wing news outlets still rail against awards being given to LGBTQIA+ content.
Queer people deserve to see themselves represented on screen. GLAAD is right - studios need to do better.
We’re not afraid of accountability. It’s why we became the first, and remain the only, regulated LGBTQIA+ outlet in the UK.
This is our contract with our readers: we will always do our best to uphold the highest standards, and we will make things right where we get things wrong.
The IMPRESS standards code protects the public from the worst practices of the media.
As we set out to model change, we believe this standards code will help create a safer environment for LGBTQIA+ stories in the press. We hope to see more publishers follow suit.
Our audience is our most valuable editor, and giving them ways to have their say is crucial. That’s why our ad-free member-funded model lets you set the agenda.
Have your say, and tell us what content is missing in the rest of the media - because we don’t commission based on ‘what creates clicks’. Everything we do is based on what you say should count.