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GLAAD Takes on Hollywood: Gays ‘Butt of Joke’


GLAAD has released an online video campaign highlighting what it claims is the unfair treatment of LGBT characters in major Hollywood films.

Titled “Hollywood Must Do Better,” the two and a half minute video features clips from several popular mainstream films released in the last five years that the organization says depicts the LGBT community in a negative, or even “dangerous,” light.

“People around the world love going to the movies,” a disclaimer at the beginning the video reads. “But for LGBT people, entertainment often comes at their expense.”

The video then cycles through snippets of popular recent films like The Dilemma, Ted, Project X, The Wolf of Wall Street, Hot Tub Time Machine, and Pain and Gain that the organization says contains homophobic and insensitive jokes.

“We’re still the butt of the joke. We’re still infrequently seen and when we are seen, it’s in a negative light,” GLAAD CEO and president Sarah Kate Ellis told Variety in announcing the campaign.

“We want to show people and to build awareness of how bad mainstream films are,” Ellis added. “Our greatest outcome would be for studios to take notice and understand that we are watching, we are paying attention and we are putting a concerted effort into changing things.”

According to the organization, just 2o of more than 100 major studio releases in 2014 featured gay or transgender characters, and those that were included received little screen time. Matt Kane, director of entertainment media for GLAAD, called the lack of LGBT representation in film an “industry-wide problem” in a statement to Variety.

“There’s a lot of the blame game,” Kane said. “Producers and writers are quick to cite other parts of the production process as where the problem lies. They say the scripts aren’t being written or writers are being told they can’t sell scripts with gay characters. It illustrates that it’s an industry-wide problem and old habits are dying hard.”

A number of new independent films set for release over the coming months include explorations of same-sex relationships and the gay and transgender rights movement, including Freeheld, Stonewall, Carol and The Danish Girl. The latter has received significant Oscar buzz after its Toronto International Film Festival premiere earlier this month.

The video comes before the organization releases its annual Studio Responsibility Index Report early next year, GLAAD communications director Seth Adam told Breitbart News in an email. The 2015 report found that of the major Hollywood film studios, Warner Brothers was most “LGBT-inclusive,” with 7 out of 22 films released this year meeting that designation, while Disney and Sony ranked last with one out of 13 and one out of 18 films meeting that designation, respectively.

Check out the video from the organization’s new campaign above.


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