2020 films included more LGBTQ characters with longer screen time, study finds

Movies from main studios included extra LGBTQ characters onscreen for longer quantities of time in 2020 in comparison with the 12 months prior, in accordance with an annual study performed by the Homosexual and Lesbian Alliance Towards Defamation (GLAAD). However the group stated there’s nonetheless progress to be made, particularly on the subject of transgender and bisexual illustration. 

The ninth Annual Studio Duty Index included movies from eight main studios: Lionsgate, Paramount Footage, Sony Footage, STX Movies, United Artists Releasing, Common Footage, the Walt Disney Studios and Warner Bros. 

Of the 44 movies these studios launched in 2020, 22.7% included LGBTQ+ characters, a 4% enhance from 2019. Although there have been fewer LGBTQ characters total — 20 in comparison with 50 in 2019 — the group attributed that to the steep decline in movies launched that 12 months because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Of the 20 characters, half spent ten minutes or extra on display screen, GLAAD stated. Thirty p.c logged underneath a minute. 

LGBTQ characters of shade additionally elevated their presence. Forty p.c of the 12 months’s LGBTQ characters had been folks of shade, a rise of 6% from the 12 months prior. Fifteen p.c had been Asian-Pacific Islander, 10% had been Black, 10% had been Latinx, and 5% had been Indigenous. 

“This transformation represents an important alternative to swiftly speed up acceptance of LGBTQ tales, break new floor, and put money into queer and trans expertise and tales that audiences are keen to look at,” GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis stated in a statement. “Hollywood and the enterprise of storytelling should be extra nimble, extra inventive, extra open than ever earlier than.”

Because of COVID-19 lockdowns, many LGBTQ-inclusive movies initially scheduled for 2020 had been delayed or moved to streaming platforms and on-demand video suppliers. Because of this, they usually grew to become mid-budget initiatives meant to usher in money for struggling studios, the report stated. The research stated motion pictures like Happiest Season, which had been initially meant to be launched by Sony, had been bought to Hulu because of the pandemic. 

“Because the trade examines completely different launch and distribution patterns and fashions, we hope to see characters included in all genres and in any respect finances ranges,” GLAAD acknowledged. 

Regardless of the numerous advances cited within the research, GLADD stated there are nonetheless areas in want of enchancment. For the fourth 12 months in a row, there have been no transgender or non-binary characters in movies from the key studios, the group stated, noting that an growing variety of younger adults establish as transgender or nonbinary. GLAAD stated the dearth of illustration for nonbinary and transgender folks in movie “stays one of many extra obvious methods mainstream studios proceed to lag behind different types of leisure media.” 

The group counseled tv reveals just like the FX collection POSE, which made history in 2021 when actress MJ Rodriguez grew to become the primary trans individual to be nominated in a lead actress function for this 12 months’s Emmy Awards. “TV has seen superb progress in telling transgender tales and empowering trans writers and actors to guide these efforts,” the research famous. 

GLAAD additionally known as elevated illustration of LGBTQ characters with disabilities and people dwelling with HIV, writing that not one of the movies included characters in these conditions. The group additionally urged distributors to incorporate extra bisexual illustration in movie, resulting from a lower in illustration this 12 months. 

“Because the trade seems in the direction of a altering future, it’s clear that LGBTQ characters must be a part of tales throughout all platforms of distribution, and prioritizing providing fan engagement experiences supplies even better alternative for illustration and inclusion,” stated GLAAD’s director of leisure analysis and evaluation, Megan Townsend. “Sincerely partaking LGBTQ audiences can solely profit the studio’s backside strains.”



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