GLAAD Reports Historic High in LGBTQ Film Representation in 2022

Amanda Rollins plays a lesbian detective on Law & Order: SVU.

GLAAD, a global LGBTQ media advocacy organization, released its annual Studio Responsibility Index last Thursday, revealing that nearly a third of the films released in 2022 featured LGBTQ characters.

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The index, which has been tracking the representation of LGBTQ characters in major films for the past 11 years, noted that this year marked the highest percentage of LGBTQ representation in its history.

The report highlighted three studios – A24, NBCUniversal, and The Walt Disney Company – that received a “Good” rating for their representation of LGBTQ characters, a distinction that has not been awarded since 2019.

An “Excellent” rating has never been issued.

The findings also revealed that 28.5% of the 350 films tracked featured at least one LGBTQ character, marking the highest percentage in the 11-year history of the study.

The gender distribution among these characters was praised as being notably diverse, with 163 men, 119 women, and 10 nonbinary individuals.

A significant surge was noted in the inclusion of bisexual characters, constituting 21% of the movies, a stark contrast to two films in 2021. Moreover, 12% of the films featured transgender characters.

Despite the increase in representation of gay and lesbian characters, the study criticized what it sees as a shortcoming: a majority of those characters had less than five minutes of screen time.

Sarah Kate Ellis, the president and CEO of GLAAD, urged for greater presence of LGBT characters in films, saying, “At a pivotal moment when the LGBTQ community is grappling with unprecedented cultural and political assaults, the responsibility of film studios to portray our community accurately and fairly on screen is more significant than ever.”

Martin Mawyer, president of Christian Action Network, responded to the findings, saying, “It’s no coincidence that we are witnessing a decline in viewership both on network television and in theaters. It seems the relentless push for LGBT narratives is overshadowing the timeless stories that were once written to entertain rather than push a political ideology.”

There has been a significant decline in network television viewership in recent years.

In 2012, broadcast and cable TV accounted for 94% of all TV viewing in the United States. By 2022, that number had fallen to 49.6%.

A 2020 study by the University of Kansas found that viewers are more likely to turn off or avoid shows containing political messages they disagree with.

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