GLAAD Report Finds LGBTQ Characters Had the Lowest Representation in Film Since 2012

Illustration for article titled GLAAD Report Finds LGBTQ Characters Had the Lowest Representation in Film Since 2012
Screenshot: Disney

GLAAD has released its annual Studio Responsibility Index (SRI), which tracks the “quantity, quality, and diversity” of LGBTQ representation in Hollywood. The numbers are not great.


A previous GLAAD report established that the record number of queer characters on TV in 2016 were primarily white men. Deadline reports that, comparatively, the figures for LGBTQ representation in film worsened in 2017. For its film study, GLAAD evaluated and assigned the seven biggest “motion picture studios” a rating of Excellent, Good, Insufficient, Poor, or Failing. Congrats to Century Fox and Universal for coming out on top in 2017 with an “Insufficient” score:

In the 2017 calendar year, GLAAD found that out of the 109 releases from major studios, only 14 (12.8%) of them included characters that are LGBTQ. That is a decrease compared to 2016 which saw 23 out of 125 films (18.4%) have LGBTQ representation. 2017 marked the lowest percentage of LGBTQ-inclusive major studio releases since GLAAD began tracking in 2012.

Aside from the indie film A Fantastic Woman, of all the movies that were included in the study, there were no 2017 titles featuring a trans character:

This was a decrease from the one trans character featured in a major studio film in 2016 — which was Benedict Cumberbatch’s character in Zoolander 2. Even then, the character was a controversial punchline and not representative of the LGBTQ community. That said, 2017 wasn’t as cinematically woke as we thought.

On the bright side, there were fewer white LGBTQ characters in film in 2017—specifically 15 of the 28 characters were people of color, though none were Asian or Pacific Islander. GLAAD is encouraging studios to make their LGBTQ characters more central to the plot and also asked that they not be featured “as subtext but as fully shown instead of being left up to interpretation.”

Contributing Writer, writing my first book for the Dial Press called The Lonely Hunter, follow me on Twitter @alutkin



I’m so irritated by this current trend of creators claiming a character is LGBTQ+ and providing absolutely no proof. Case in point: the recent assertion by Solo’s screenwriter that Lando Calrissian is pansexual. Great! That’s awesome! BUT where’s the proof? (Disclaimer: I haven’t seen Solo yet but have seen this complaint from people who have, so if I’m/they’re wrong, please correct me.) They’re trying to have their cake and eat it too (He’s pansexual! But don’t worry, homophobes, he doesn’t actually do anything in the movie so you can still see it! Yay!) and it’s goddamn annoying.