May 23, 2019 at 9:43 am PDT | by Mariah Cooper
GLAAD film report spotlights zero trans representation in major studio films

Nick Robinson in ‘Love, Simon.’ (Screenshot via YouTube.)

There were no transgender characters in the 110 of major studio films released in 2018, according to a film report from GLAAD.

GLAAD’s annual Studio Responsibility Index observed that when it comes to transgender representation television is putting in the work while film is lagging far behind.

“In the year that saw the groundbreaking television series ‘Pose’ put a multitude of trans stories front and center and trans creators behind the scenes, ‘Supergirl’ introduced America to TV’s first trans superhero, and ‘A Fantastic Woman’ took home an Oscar; there were still no transgender characters in any major studio film,” the report reads.

Racial diversity also severely declined. LGBTQ characters of color dropped 15 percent from 2017 although LGBTQ Asian and Pacific Islanders (API) representation did increase from zero in 2017 to 13 percent (six characters).

20th Century Fox had the greatest amount of LGBTQ representation with 40 percent in its 10 releases (four films); followed by Universal at 30 percent (six out of 20 films); Warner Bros. came in at 22 percent (five out of 23 films); Paramount had 20 percent (two out of 10 films); Sony came in at 11 percent (two out of 18 films); and Lionsgate trailed behind with five percent (one out of 19 films).

GLAAD called out Disney, the studio that “has the weakest history when it comes to LGBTQ inclusion,” for including zero LGBTQ characters.

In 2018, Disney released 10 films including box-office hits “Black Panther” and “Incredibles 2,” but none of these films included LGBTQ representation. GLAAD’s 2020 report may look different for Disney as the studio’s film “Disney’s Jungle Cruise” will include its first openly gay character, portrayed by Jack Whitehall.

Overall, there were some achievements. For the first time, there was an equal number of gay and lesbian characters represented. The LGBTQ characters also received more screen time.

“The successful releases of films including ‘Love, Simon,’ ‘Deadpool 2’ and ‘Blockers,’ brought fresh LGBTQ stories to audiences around the world and have raised the bar for LGBTQ inclusion in film,” Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President and CEO, said in a statement. “While the film industry should include more stories of LGBTQ people of color and transgender people, studios are finally addressing the calls from LGBTQ people and allies around the world who want to see more diversity in films.”

Read the full report here.

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