LGBTQ writers in Hollywood are claiming widespread discrimination in the entertainment industry and are demanding executives take decisive steps to hire more queer, gay, and transgender writers.
They are also demanding Hollywood studios take action against states that have passed “anti-trans legislation” — which presumably refers to laws banning transgender drugs and surgery for minors, as well as laws prohibiting transgender women from competing in girls’ sports.
In an open letter sent Friday, the LGBTQ+ Writers Committee of the Writers Guild of America, West said Hollywood must do more to increase on-screen representation and fight discrimination.
“The industry’s storied history is also one steeped in decades of codified bigotry against the LGBTQ+/queer community,” the committee said in the letter, which was timed to coincide with Pride Month. “The portrayals of Hollywood’s past — and present — are responsible for exacerbating harmful stereotypes and stigmas that have persisted through generations.”
The committee said 22 percent of its members reported having been the target of “overt discrimination or harassment” based on their identity, with the number jumping to 57 percent when factoring in microaggressions.
In addition, 46 percent of the committee’s members reported that they have hidden their identity or felt compelled to do so in an industry environment.
The committee also demanded Hollywood take “action” against states that have passed what it called “anti-trans legislation.”
In recent months, states including Arkansas and Florida have passed laws regarding transgender minors. In some cases, states have banned male-to-female transsexuals from competing in girls’ sports, where they would have a natural advantage over young women.
In other cases, states have banned irreversible medical procedures for minors, including hormone treatment and sex-change operations.
“Many of our productions are in these states. Hollywood must stand up and vociferously speak out against the wave of anti-trans legislation, not simply with words, but with actions,” the letter said.
“The industry has spoken out against anti-abortion and anti-voting laws in the past. We must do the same now.”