Entertainment & Arts

Hollywood films 'had fewer LGBT characters in 2017'

Thor: Ragnarok Image copyright Marvel Studios
Image caption Valkyrie's (centre) bisexuality is not mentioned in Thor: Ragnarok

The Hollywood film industry has been criticised for a drop in the number of LGBT characters in film in 2017.

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) found that 12% of mainstream releases featured LGBT characters last year.

That was down from 18% in 2016 and is the lowest level recorded by GLAAD, which started the index six years ago.

GLAAD's study did find some positives, including that the racial diversity of characters had improved in 2017.

Of the 109 studio films released last year, 14 featured LGBT characters, according to the Studio Responsibility Index. Of those LGBT characters, 43% were white, with 28.5% black and 28.5% Latin American.

Examples include Zoe Kravitz's character Blair in Rough Night and Demian Bichir's character Lope in Alien: Covenant.

GLAAD president Sarah Kate Ellis said there had been some signs of "welcome progress" in 2018 with films like Love, Simon; Annihilation; and Blockers.

Image copyright Marvel Studios
Image caption Black Panther has been criticised for not developing character's sexualities in the film

She said: "If Hollywood wants to remain relevant with these audiences and keep them buying tickets, they must create stories that are reflective of the world LGBTQ people and our friends and family know.

"This needs to take place in the major studio releases that play in wide release all over the country - and indeed, all around the world - as well as in the indie films that have long been home to stand-out queer and trans stories."

There was criticism for some superhero movies, such as Thor: Ragnarok, which cut a scene that would have confirmed the character Valkyrie as bisexual.

The group also noted how the sexualities of comic book characters Wonder Woman, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn didn't make it into film adaptations.

Of the "inclusive" studio films, 64% featured gay men, 36% had lesbian characters and 14% included bisexual characters, but none had transsexual or non-binary characters.

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