Hollywood Is Still Too Cis, White and Male, GLAAD Says

Hollywood Is Still Too Cis, White and Male, GLAAD Says
Source: AP
Source: AP

Buzz from the #OscarsSoWhite controversy may have subsided, but LGBT media advocates this week are once again trying to hip the masses to a lack of diversity in Hollywood.

In its fourth annual review of over 125 movies released by the film industry's major studios, media watchdog GLAAD found the number of LGBT-identified characters increased by 68% while number of LGBT characters of color decreased by nearly 7 percentage points in 2015 over the previous year. LGBT characters were overwhelmingly male and cisgender at 75%, according to GLAAD's report, released Monday.

Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD, formerly known as the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, said it was troubling that most LGBT-identified characters serve as the butt of a joke or to reinforce stereotypes. Studios continue to see LGBT characters "as the setup of a punch line or ... as an isolated token character who never gets the chance to bloom into a fully formed personality," Ellis said in a statement.

"It is clear that what we once considered 'adequate' from the film industry is no longer adequate at all. The film industry must embrace new stories reflective of the actual world if it wants to remain competitive and relevant."

Here are more details about the findings in GLAAD's report:

Of 126 films produced in 2015 by the seven largest Hollywood studios, only 18% featured an LGBT character.

Actress and singer Queen Latifah accepts a GLAAD award for her role in the 2015 HBO movie "Bessie."
Source: 
Chris Pizzello/AP

Of the films containing an LGBT-identified character, 75% contained a gay male character, 23% featured a lesbian character and 9% featured a bisexual character.

Actresses Sofia Vergara and Reese Witherspoon starred in the 2015 film "Hot Pursuit."
Source: 
Eduardo Verdugo/AP

Warner Bros's picture Hot Pursuit was the only 2015 film that featured a transgender character.

Actor Vladimir Alexis appeared in the 2015 film 'Stonewall.'
Source: 
Richard Shotwell/AP

In 2014, 31% of LGBT film roles were characters of color. In 2015, whites represented 72% of all LGBT roles, while people of color accounted for 26% — a steep decline in the number of LGBT characters of color. 

Actor Rex Lee reprised his role of Lloyd in the 2015 HBO film adaptation of 'Entourage.'
Source: 
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Despite the lack of racial and ethnic diversity among LGBT characters in movies, studios featured 47 gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender characters last year. There were just 28 in 2014.


Actor Wilson Cruz attends the 2016 GLAAD Media Awards ceremony held in Beverly Hills, California.
Source: 
Jordan Strauss/AP

Correction: May 5, 2016
An earlier version misstated how many film roles were LGBT characters of color. Thirty-one percent of LGBT characters in film were people of color. 

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Aaron Morrison

Aaron is a Senior Staff Writer for The Movement at Mic. He covers the intersection of race, justice, politics, diversity and civil rights. He has previously written for IB TImes, Miami Herald, The Bergen Record of New Jersey and the Associated Press. Send tips to aaron@mic.com.

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