GLAAD — the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation — is pitching a fit this week because, the group says, big-budget Hollywood films don’t include enough gay, lesbian and transgender characters.
The media monitoring group released its 2016 Studio Responsibility Index on Monday. The index harshly criticizes America’s seven major movie studios for featuring gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender characters in 22 out of 126 films in 2015.
The percentage of films with gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender characters, then, is 17.5 percent.
By way of comparison, just 3.8 percent of all Americans identify themselves as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, according to tracking polls from Gallup.
Thus, in 2015, America’s big-budget movies overrepresented gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender characters by a whopping 460 percent.
Nevertheless, GLAAD remains unhappy.
“Hollywood’s films lag far behind any other form of media when it comes to portrayals of LGBT characters,” GLAAD president Sarah Kate Ellis said in a press release discussing the group’s 2016 Studio Responsibility Index. “Too often, the few LGBT characters that make it to the big screen are the target of a punchline or token characters. The film industry must embrace new and inclusive stories if it wants to remain competitive and relevant.”
GLAAD is demanding that gay characters have more screen time and be more central to movie plots. Additionally, GLAAD insists, gay movie characters must include black gay people, handicapped gay people and gay people from lots of states. Also, GLAAD pronounces, humor in movies is only acceptable when it shares the leftist group’s ideological perspective. Otherwise, humor is “thoughtless” and “bolsters ignorance and prejudice.”
GLAAD’s report about its index deplores a “noticeable resurgence” in 2015 movies involving gay jokes the gay group find unacceptable, notes The Daily Beast. For example, GLAAD hates a scene in “Hot Tub Time Machine 2” in which Adam Scott’s character screams in agony because game show host Christian Slater and some bouncers force him to have virtual reality sex on the show “Choozy Doozy.” GLAAD also hates that time in “Get Hard” when Kevin Hart prepares criminal hedge fund manager Will Ferrell for prison by giving him pointers on oral sex. “When life puts a dick in your mouth, you make dick-ade,” Hart’s character helpfully suggests.
“GLAAD will continue to hold film studios accountable for the stories these companies choose to tell on our screens,” the gay group’s press release warned. “Lucky for them, we still have plenty of stories to be told.”
The gay group said it will continue to apply its “Vito Russo Test” to movies. To pass the test, named for “celebrated film historian and GLAAD co-founder Vito Russo,” movies must have an important, main character who is lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. Further, the character must not be “solely or predominantly defined by their sexual orientation” or exist in the film “to simply provide colorful commentary” or to “set up a punchline.”
GLAAD has pinned its hopes on the upcoming sequel to “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which will premiere in December 2017. GLAAD hopes that a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away — during a period of civil war, rebel spaceships and a particularly ominous battle station the size of a moon — Disney will “include LGBT characters is in the upcoming eighth Star Wars film.”
J.J. Abrams, the director of “The Force Awakens,” has vowed to find a way to wedge gay characters in future Star Wars films, notes The Daily Beast.