Entertainment :: Movies

GLAAD Slams Hollywood for Poor Portrayal of LGBT Community

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Tuesday Jul 22, 2014
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Jared Leto in "Dallas Buyers Club."
Jared Leto in "Dallas Buyers Club."  (Source:AP Photo/Anne Marie Fox)

GLAAD is criticizing Hollywood's portrayal of the LGBT community in a new report this week, saying filmmakers are failing to represent gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals.

In the report, GLAAD officials studied 102 films released by the seven largest film studios in 2013 and found that only 17 of those movies featured gay, lesbian or bisexual characters. And of those 17, only seven characters were well-rounded LGBT people.

The majority of these roles were minor or cameos and many were offensive and defamatory. The report cites Katee Sachoff's character in "Riddick" is subjected to a number of rape threats after it's suggest she's gay. Ken Jeong's character, Leslie Chow in the "Hangover" movies makes several "homophobic humor" comments. GLAAD also took issue with "The Wolf of Wall Street" and its stereotypical treatment of the gay butler character.

"What's disheartening for me and to all of us in GLAAD is when it comes to major studio films, LGBT people are basically invisible," GLAAD national spokesman Wilson Cruz told the New York Daily News. "And when we do show up, it's largely a part of comedies as caricatures to service a joke at the expense of the character."

GLAAD's CEO and President Sarah Kate Ellis said:

The lack of substantial LGBT characters in mainstream film, in addition to the outdated humor and stereotypes suggests large Hollywood studios may be doing more harm than good when it comes to worldwide understanding of the LGBT community.

These studios have the eyes and ears of millions of audience members, and should reflect the true fabric of our society rather than feed into the hatred and prejudice against LGBT people too often seen around the globe.

GLAAD pointed out that none of the LGBT characters were leads and if they were in support roles, they were only on screen for a few seconds, or just enough time to get a punch line. The LGBT group also referenced "Anchor Man 2" and "Identity Thief" for their offensive humor aimed at transgender people.

"LGBT people come from all walks of life; we're your family members, coworkers, neighbors, and peers," Ellis said. "Hollywood should strive to reflect that truth, rather than turn us into jokes or simply edit us out."

GLAAD gave both Paramount and Warner Brother movie studios a "failing" grade for including only minor and offensive LGBT characters in their 2013 films. Lionsgate, Universal Pictures, Walt Disney Studios and 20th Century Fox all received "adequate" grades. Sony Columbia was the first and only studio to receive a "good" score and no studio received an "excellent" grade.

GLAAD used the "gay" version of the Bechdel test, the renowned critical way of looking at the representation of women in film. The organization's Vito Russo Test used three criteria to review films on its portrayal of LGBT people.

Comments

  • GAG’EM, 2014-07-26 00:03:43

    What’s even more disturbing is the portrayal of LGBT characters in independent film by gay filmmakers. These characters are usually just as clich├ęd, stereotyped and 2-dimensional as those in Hollywood films. Additionally the plots are hackneyed and formulaic, the writing terrible and the acting atrocious.


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