Less than 1% of mainstream film characters last year were LGBTQ

Last year proved to be another dismal year for LGBTQ representation.

A new report from the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative examined inequality in the film industry, and found that only 0.7% of characters in the top 100 movies last year were lesbian, gay and bisexual.

A total of 4,403 characters were evaluated, and over half of the LGB characters were gay (51.6%), while 29% were lesbian and 19.4% identified as bisexual. There were zero transgender characters.

Unsurprisingly, white homosexual men received the most representation from the LGBTQ community. Out of the 31 LGBTQ characters last year, 67.7% of them were white and only 32.3% were people of colour.

The report also found that there hasn’t been much progression in the depiction of LGBTQ characters since 2014.

In the past three years – out of 400 popular films – only one transgender character appeared.

Across those 400 films, and 17,820 characters, only 83 characters were gay (a shocking 0.004%), 29 were lesbian and 22 were bisexual.

While there has been widespread recognition for LGBTQ movies such as Call Me By Your Name and Moonlight – particularly at the Oscars – it’s apparent that the industry has a long way to go.

The study also found that only 31.% of characters in 2017’s most popular films were female, a tiny increase of only 1.9% from 2007.

Also, 70.7% of characters since then have been white, 12.1% have been black, 6.2% Hispanic, 4.8% Asian and 6.3% other.

However, these statistics are much worse for women. Last year, out of the 100 most popular films, 43 had no black women, 65 had no Asian women, 64 had no Hispanic or Latinx women and 94 had no LGBTQ women.

The report offered a solution for gender equality, by telling writers that they need to add five female characters to their scripts per year, in a campaign they’ve called ‘Just Add Five’.

“Adding five female characters allows for intersectional diversity as well—these women can be from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, can be from the LGBT community, and can be depicted with a disability.”

Read the full report here.

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