GLAAD, the world’s LGBTQ media advocacy organization, announced its annual Studio Responsibility Index on Thursday in a joint statement alongside SAG-AFTRA and the WGA. Out of the 350 films released in 2022 that were tracked by the organization, 100 of them — or 28.5% — included an LGBTQ character.
This proportion is the highest number and percentage seen in the 11 years GLAAD has conducted this study. The Studio Responsibility Index tracks major films from 10 distributors based on their representation of LGBTQ characters.
As part of the Studio Responsibility Index, GLAAD issues grades to the studios it monitors based on the quality, quantity and diversity of LGBTQ characters and stories. For the first time in the 11 years this study has tracked LGBTQ representation, three studios received a “Good” rating: A24, NBCUniversal and The Walt Disney Company. The last time a “Good” rating had been issued was in 2019. An “Excellent” rating has never been issued.
Overall, the organization counted 292 LGBTQ characters across the aforementioned 100 LGBTQ-inclusive films. Of those, 40% were characters of color, a slight uptick from 2021’s report, which found 39%, or 11 out of 28 films, featured characters of color. Of those 292 characters, 163 were men, 119 were women and 10 were nonbinary. These numbers include seven trans women characters and six trans men characters.
Additionally, 21% of these 100 movies included bisexual characters, a drastic uptick from the two movies that fell into this category in 2021, and 12% included transgender characters. There were 11 LGBTQ characters overall who were counted as having a disability, and only one character was portrayed as someone living with HIV.
But it’s not all good news. Of the LGBTQ characters that did appear in 2022, 57% had under five minutes of screen time.
“At a time when the LGBTQ community is under unprecedented cultural and political attacks, it is more important than ever to hold film studios accountable for how our community is represented on-screen,” Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD, said. “The LGBTQ characters and stories found in this year’s study would not exist without the work of talented writers, actors, directors, and crew on all levels and GLAAD firmly stands in solidarity with the SAG-AFTRA and the WGA in their efforts and contributions to fair and accurate storytelling integral to the LGBTQ movement.”
Ellis went on to say that it’s “crucial” that the AMPTP “reach a fair deal with striking writers and performers – that these talented creatives can return to work as soon as possible, so that the progress made in LGBTQ representation remains on track.”
“With more people than ever now empowered to live authentically and openly, the cost of lost progress in LGBTQ representation on-screen means erasure. As the LGBTQ movement has always been, this is a fight and a demand to exist,” Ellis said.
“Right now there’s a very tiny but loud segment of our population that’s hard at work spreading hate and fear while attempting to squash all storytelling that showcases the full, beautiful reality of the human experience,” SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher said. “Seeing diverse representation on screen is vital for empowering everyone to embrace their authentic selves. Sadly, the longer the AMPTP companies keep the entertainment industry shut down by refusing to come back to the bargaining table, the more risk there is for disrupting the progress that’s been made in terms of inclusive representation. Let’s make a deal and end this stalemate so we can continue sharing diverse stories and create a more hopeful, empathetic society for today’s young people.”
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