GLAAD has identified Disney’s upcoming Star Wars
film as the best chance to change the Hollywood industry's attitude to LGBT characters.
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)’s annual LGBT report for 2015 announces that Disney, Paramount and Warner Bross are one of many Hollywood’s studios that show a lack of representation of LGBT society in their productions.
Only 22 (17.5 per cent) of 126 major film releases included LGBT characters, marking no progress compared to 2014.
The Studio Responsibility Index (SRI) also found that three-quarters of LGBT characters in those 22 major Hollywood productions had less than 10 minutes screen time. Moreover, the report outlined “outright offensive depictions of LGBT”, including “gay panic and defamatory stereotypes”.
"Hollywood's films lag far behind any other form of media when it comes to portrayals of LGBT characters," says Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President & CEO.
GLAAD points out that Disney’s Star Wars
is a perfect occasion to make substantial changes in the film industry, and having already been praised for its diverse cast, the upcoming eighth film in the franchise the series needs to show that LGBT people have their place in the universe.
"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.
"2015's 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."
Ellis adds that "recent official novels in the franchise featured lesbian and gay characters that could also be easily written into the stories."
"Leaving LGBT people out of the picture - or including them only as a punchline - keeps old prejudices alive and creates an unsafe environment around the world where most audiences see these depictions."
Words: Anita Klich
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