GLAAD has just released its 2014 Studio Responsibility Index, tracking LGBT representation in the past year’s major Hollywood films.
Of the 102 major Hollywood films from 2013, 17 of them — about 16.7% — included characters who identified as LGBT. That means 83.3% of last year’s biggest movies had no LGBT characters. The study tracks the "quantity, quality and diversity of images" of LGBT people in movies, and this year’s results were not promising.
None of the seven studios received an “excellent” rating, but Sony Columbia came in on top with a “good” score, thanks to movies like “Mortal Instruments: City of Bones,” which also nabbed a GLAAD Media Award nomination. Meanwhile, Universal and Disney were among the studios to receive an “adequate” grade, while both Paramount and Warner Brothers were considered outright failures.
Meanwhile, to assess individual films, GLAAD officials developed the “Vito Russo Test,” which examines how multidimensional a LGBT character is, as well as how significant he or she may be to the plot of a specific movie. Seven out of the 17 major studio films featuring LGBT characters passed the test this year, according to the report.
In case you’re wondering — yes, the Vito Russo Test is totally a spinoff of the Bechdel test, and it’s pretty cool. Here’s what you need to pass the test:
- The film contains a character that is identifiably lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender.
- That character must not be solely or predominantly defined by their sexual orientation or gender identity. I.E. they are made up of the same sort of unique character traits commonly used to differentiate straight characters from one another.
- The LGBT character must be tied into the plot in such a way that their removal would have a significant effect. Meaning they are not there to simply provide colorful commentary, paint urban authenticity, or (perhaps most commonly) set up a punchline. The character should “matter.”
Check out the full results over at GLAAD. I honestly hadn’t thought about movie representation of LGBT people — too busy worrying about TV! — but come to think of it, these results are actually miserable.