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Movies get a LGBT rating

2013-08-22 09:24
 
LGBT Pride
Los Angeles – The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) are shaking their heads at the 'Big Six' film studios in Hollywood.

In their first report on the amount of LGBT characters and how they are portrayed in the blockbuster movies of 2012, GLAAD has given 20th Century Fox and Walt Disney a failing grade, with Paramount Pictures, Sony Columbia, Universal Pictures and Warner Bros receiving an adequate pass.

Out of the 101 releases that was included in the study, only 14 included LGB characters, and transgender characters are non-existent. There is also a sex-discrepency, with 55.6% of those characters being gay males, 33% were lesbians and 11% were bisexual, the most notable character being that of the villain in James Bond movie Skyfall.

Only 37% of all the characters were female.

The Vito Russo Test

The rating system used is called the Vito Russo Test, named after a GLAAD co-founder and film historian, and there are three main points that it looks at in a film before giving a rating. The first and obvious one is whether there are any identifiable LGBT characters in the movie.

Secondly, whether or not that character's identity is solely depended on their sexuality and if they have varying differentiating characteristics and lastly how much the character adds to the plotline and if the story would be able to move forward without them.

Movies as beacons to other countries

GLAAD argued that movies are one of the US's biggest exports to the rest of the world, and should use this space to cultivate more understanding and tolerance in countries that censor and discriminate against LGBT communities.

"It's important that Hollywood not be indirectly complicit in similar self-censorship, but we must also emphasise the tremendous potential for good that these films can have. In places where LGBT people must still argue for their right to exist, a popular film displaying even casual acceptance of an LGBT character can help foster understanding and shift public opinion."

Movies with LGBT characters

Some of the movies that included LGBT characters were Pitch Perfect, The Five-Year Engagement, 21 Jump Street, American Reunion and The Avengers, all in varying degrees of major to minor roles.

Cloud Atlas got one of the best scores, as a gay romance played an intricate role in the plot line, although the gay characters' importance in the plot went beyond their sexuality.

A spokesperson for GLAAD told The Hollywood Reporter he hopes for more depictions of the LGBT community in entertainment.

"Throughout my experience in the entertainment field and here at GLAAD, I know that whether it's LGBT or a person of colour, we want to see ourselves on the screen. When we don't see ourselves in films, there's an underlying message that we are not part of the world."

For more details on the report, click through to GLAAD's website.

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