(Thomson Reuters Foundation) - More Hollywood movies in 2014 featured one or more lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) characters than in the previous year, but those roles were mostly minor and stereotypical, said researchers.
GLAAD, a U.S. organization that researches and promotes LGBT issues in media, found that 17.5 percent of 114 films released last year by major studios included characters who identified as LGBT, compared to 16.7 percent in 2013.
“Every year after analyzing the studios’ theatrically released films, we struggle to find the silver lining,” GLAAD’s president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said in the report.
“For every standout LGBT role, there seem to be two others that either barely register or present us as jokes or offensive caricatures.”
In reviewing movies from a number of major studios, including 20th Century Fox, Lionsgate, Universal Pictures and Warner Brothers, for its annual Studio Responsibility Index, GLAAD said there has been little improvement since it issued its first report in 2013.
Among LGBT actors, gay males had by far the highest representation in Hollywood films (65 percent), followed by bisexuals (30 percent) and lesbians (10 percent), while the study found no transgender characters in last year’s big productions.
The most inclusive major studio was Warner Brothers, with 7 LGBT-inclusive films out of the 22 films it released in 2014, said the report.
When it comes to creating LGBT roles, television is outperforming Hollywood, according to the report, which said that TV’s portrayal of the LGBT community makes that found in films appear “shockingly outdated.”
In films, most LGBT characters had minor roles that often relied on stereotypes, GLAAD noted.
“Hollywood must recognize that LGBT people are worthy of depictions crafted with care and humanity, and we should be part of the stories they tell,” said Ellis.
Reporting by Maria Caspani, Editing by Lisa Anderson