In its first-ever study of how the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, or LGBT, community is represented in Hollywood movies, GLAAD -- an advocacy organization -- found that only 14 films out of the 101 released last year featured LGBT characters.
Calling the representation inadequate, GLAAD noted that a majority of the characters in the 14 movies were in minor roles, and none of the movies had transgender characters.
“As a major influence in American culture and one of our nation's largest media exports abroad, the lack of LGBT characters in big-budget films needs to change,” Wilson Cruz, an LGBT advocate associated with GLAAD, said in a statement.
“Until LGBT characters are depicted in these films in a substantial way with more regularity, there will remain the appearance of LGBT bias on the studios’ part. Whether it's an action hero or a supporting character, moviegoers should be able to see LGBT people as integral players in the stories told by leading Hollywood studios,” Cruz said.
The report added that comedy movies made the most of LGBT characters, and more than half of these movies featured male gay characters.
The study focused on movies released by six major studios -- 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, Sony Columbia, Universal, The Walt Disney Studios and Warner Bros Pictures -- and found that except 20th Century Fox, all other studios had at least one LGBT-inclusive movie.
The GLAAD report noted that the LGBT community had better representation in television than in movies.
“Entertainment media consumers are seeing diversity depicted on the small screen and LGBT-inclusive TV shows have consistently been among the most popular shows with audiences and critics,” Cruz said. “By being more inclusive, the Big Six studios can attract an audience that expects to see a diverse cast of characters.”
But, the report also expressed doubt that major studios would portray the protagonist of an action movie as someone belonging to the LGBT community.