GLAAD, an organisation which calls for greater representation of LGBT people in the media, has challenged Disney to introduce gay characters to the ‘Star Wars’ universe.
The comments come as part of GLAAD’s annual Studio Responsibility Index report, which overall found that LGBT characters are often reduced to being token characters.
The report took 126 films released by the top seven major Hollywood studios in 2016 and put them through the “Vito Russo Test”. To pass, a film needs just one significant, fleshed out LGBT character. Only 22 of the 126 had one, and of those only 8 passed the test.
Four of the studios included in the test (Sony, 20th Century Fox, Lionsgate and Universal) didn’t receive a "good" rating, while the remaining three (Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros and Disney) were each handed a “Failing” grade.
“As sci-fi projects have the special opportunity to create unique worlds whose advanced societies can serve as a commentary on our own, the most obvious place where Disney could include LGBT characters is in the upcoming eighth 'Star Wars’ film,“ reads the report.
”'The Force Awakens’ has introduced a new and diverse central trio, which allows the creators opportunity to tell fresh stories as they develop their backstory. Recent official novels in the franchise featured lesbian and gay characters that could also be easily written in to the story.”
In the 11 Disney films considered for the report, not a single one featured an LGBT character.
Last year, 'The Force Awakens’ director JJ Abrams discussed the possibility of the gay character in 'Star Wars’, saying: “When I talk about inclusivity it’s not excluding gay characters. It’s about inclusivity. So of course.”
We’ll find out if director Rian Johnson has included any LGBT characters in 'Star Wars: Episode 8’ when it’s released in December 2017.
Picture Credits: LucasFilm