Wednesday, August 4, 2021
Aug. 4, 2021

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Racial diversity up in LGBTQ film

Study: 2020 saw growth but more progress needed

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NEW YORK — The year 2020 saw welcome growth in racial diversity of LBGTQ characters in films released by major studios, according to a new study by the advocacy group GLAAD. But for the fourth year in a row there were no transgender or non-binary characters in those films.

The study, released Thursday, also found no LGBTQ characters in those films living with HIV, or with disabilities.

GLAAD looked at 44 films released in theaters by major studios in 2020, a limited number due to the pandemic.

Of those films, 10 (22.7 percent) contained LGBTQ characters. The films included “Kajillionaire,” “Like a Boss,” “The Broken Hearts Gallery,” “Fantasy Island,” “Valley Girl,” “Freaky,” “The New Mutants,” and “Birds of Prey.” It was an increase of 4.1 percent from the previous year, but a decrease of 12 films overall (last year’s study looked at 118 films.)

GLAAD counted 20 LGBTQ characters in those films, a decrease from 50 in last year’s report (again, attributable to the reduced sample size of films released in 2020.) Of the 20 characters, 11 were women and 9 men, making this the first time GLAAD’s tracking found more women than men in those roles

Especially concerning, GLAAD noted, was that for the fourth year in a row, there were zero transgender and/or non-binary characters counted. The group renewed its call for increased transgender and non-binary representation and storytelling, “especially in a political climate with anti-transgender legislation moving forward at a record pace.”

The report came two days after Mj Rodriguez of TV’s “Pose” became the first transgender performer nominated for a major acting Emmy.

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