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Study: Movies not keeping up with TV in gay representation

Posted by Glenn Yoder  August 21, 2013 11:23 AM

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Gay characters just aren't as prevalent on the big screen as they are on the small screen, according to a new study conducted by GLAAD that traced lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) roles handed out by six major film studios in 2012.

The watchdog group also analyzes LGBT characters on television each year, and says that films released by 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, Sony Columbia, Universal Pictures, The Walt Disney Studios, and Warner Brothers have failed to keep pace.

For years LGBT characters were few and far between on TV, with independent cinema often being the only place the LGBT community could see their stories being told. However, a significant shift has happened in the last decade. As television has become increasingly inclusive – including a record high percentage of LGBT characters in the 2012-2013 broadcast season – the film industry is lagging behind. Though indie film still produces some of the most groundbreaking LGBT stories, major film studios appear reluctant to include LGBT characters in significant roles or franchises.

Of the 101 films reviewed in the study, only 14 movies featured characters who fit GLAAD's standards for LGBT representation. The biggest offenders were 20th Century Fox and Walt Disney, both of which received failing grades for films released last year. Paramount, Sony Columbia, Universal, and Warner Brothers scored adequate marks.

What do you think? Should the major studios make a more concerted effort to include LGBT characters on screen? If so, when will we see less of a disparity between LGBT characters on TV and in movies?

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