Mortal Instruments: City of Bones features bisexual warlock Magnus Bane (Godfrey Gao)

Hollywood’s big studios have been accused of not featuring enough LGBT characters and of including offensive content in their movies.

According to an annual report by US gay media watchdog GLAAD, issued on Thursday, of the 102 releases from the seven major film studios in 2013, only 17 of them included characters identified as lesbian, gay, or bisexual.

The majority of these characters were minor roles or cameos, and GLAAD found that many of these were “outright defamatory representations” in films such as Pain & Gain and Riddick.

“The lack of substantial LGBT characters in mainstream film, in addition to the outdated humour and stereotypes suggests large Hollywood studios may be doing more harm than good when it comes to worldwide understanding of the LGBT community,” said GLAAD’s CEO and President Sarah Kate Ellis.

“These studios have the eyes and ears of millions of audience members, and should reflect the true fabric of our society rather than feed into the hatred and prejudice against LGBT people too often seen around the globe.”

Both Paramount and Warner Brothers received “failing” grades for including only minor and offensive portrayals of LGBT people in their 2013 releases. 20th Century Fox, Lionsgate, Universal Pictures and Walt Disney Studios received grades of “adequate.”

Sony Columbia was the first and only studio to receive a “good” score for several LGBT-inclusive films, including Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. No studio has yet received a grade of “excellent.”


In Riddick, lesbian character Dahl (Katee Sackhoff) turns straight after being wooded by the hero’s rape threats.

According to the report, in the LGBT-inclusive films, male LGBT characters outnumbered female characters 64% to 36%.

None of the LGBT characters that GLAAD counted in 2013 releases are considered “lead” characters, and there were only a few that had substantial supporting roles.Many of these appearances were no more than a few seconds long, or just enough time to get to a punchline.

GLAAD pointed out that genre films like comic-book adaptations and action franchises are the areas where Hollywood film studios seem to commit the majority of their capital and promotional resources nowadays, but LGBT characters are still rarely seen in them.

Especially given their global popularity, these films must become more diverse and inclusive, said the organisation.

“LGBT people come from all walks of life; we’re your family members, co-workers, neighbours, and peers” commented Ellis. “Hollywood should strive to reflect that truth, rather than turn us into jokes or simply edit us out.”

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