Here is why Hollywood also has an LGBT diversity issue

  1. Jill Andrews
  2. October 9, 2017 4:44 pm

Here is why Hollywood also has an LGBT diversity issue

We all know what a good movie is. It is the movie for which you pay and have no regrets. Well lately, there has been diversity issues in every film industry and so does Hollywood. This is not a thing that has been hidden. Hollywood has recently been facing diversity issues, not to say only in terms of religion, ethnicity, script, drama or sex. There is something more extraordinary pertaining to Hollywood industry and that is the use of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) acts in the film.

Talking about GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation), it is a U.S non-governmental organization which was founded by LGBT people working in media. Well, it is an advocacy organization for the queer community. The annual report of GLAAD, Studio Responsibility Index publishes a ranking of Hollywood movies on the basis of the LGBT representation in the movie. GLAAD produced a video in the year 2015 named “Hollywood must do better” which picturized the high amount of anti-LGBT actions in the movies.

Here are a few points to be thought upon as to why Hollywood is losing its content on LGBT diversity.


1)    Did you notice many high-grossing LGBT Hollywood movies in 2016-17?

Well, out of many major releases in Hollywood in the year of 2016 and the past few months of 2017, the LGBT high-grossing movies do have a small ratio. Out of 200+ star box releases, the number of best LGBT movies remain low being 12 in the year2016 and 11 in the past few months of 2017. These include Spa Night, Moonlight, Other People, King Cobra, Don’t Call Me Son, First Girl I Loved, The Misandrists, They, God’s Own Country etcetera. These account for about 20% of the total releases. We eagerly wait for the report “Where we are on TV” by GLAAD to be upcoming this year.


2)    Lesbians go totally unnoticed, movies mostly feature gay scenes

It seems that Hollywood movies have become the epicenter of inequality. If there are LGBT films made, more stress is given on gay characters rather endorse lesbians in the films. The ratio of males and females goes to three to one. According to the annual report “Where we are on TV” states that the LGBTQ characters on movies have seen a decline of 17%. The representation of LGBTQ character has also seen a decline of 22%. I guess, they should keep in mind that the movies can also picture lesbians as well, not only gays.

3)    Why prefer only whites?

The Hollywood seems sometimes limited to just white people. This also goes in the case of LGBT movies. The statistics of the number of people in LGBT movies as per 2015 show that there were 34 white accounting 72.3%, 5 Latino accounting 10.6%, Black’s numbering was four comprising 8.5% and six were basically Asian comprising another 6.4%. Therefore, we see that there is basically no equal diversification in color.


4)    You can’t blink your eye in these movies. If you do so, you are going to miss them

The major idea is not just to include LGBT scenes or portray these characters in the movie. You have to provide them space. The idea is to picture them as a proper part of the story. Many of the movies which contain sex sequels of the LGBT group which are just there for a blink of an eye. With their ratio being 73% of the total queer group and given less than 10-15 minutes onscreen, their impact is reduced and comes with the limited edition.

5)    Only eight of the 22 LGBT films passed the “Vito Russo Test”

The Vito Russo Test derives its name from a very famous film historian and co-founder of GLAAD, Vito Russo, who wrote a book, “The Celluloid Closet” which is still a living analysis of LGBT portrayals in Hollywood film.

For passing the test, the movie must contain an LGBT character, the character must not solely be recognized by sexual identity and the character must have a significant role in the movie such that its removal makes a remarkable effect on the storyline.


Therefore, according to the report “Where we are on TV” in 2015-16 by GLAAD, only 8 out of 22 LGBT movies passed this test. This makes approx. 36% which is an all-time lowest ratio in the history of LGBT movies. So, it is clear that the portrayal of LGBT in the Hollywood movies is in the damn need of supervision.