GLAAD's 2021 Studio Responsibility Index

GLAAD, the world's foremost LGBTQ media organization, has published its 9th annual Hollywood Responsibility Index, and here are its findings.


The Hollywood Responsibility Index is an annual study conducted to analyze LGBTQ representation in film from Hollywood's largest film studios.

According to a press release:

For the first time in the report's history, queer women characters outnumber queer men but the report finds no LGBTQ characters with disabilities, no LGBTQ characters living with HIV, and transgender and/or non-binary characters remain completely absent for a fourth year in a row.

The studios included in the study were Lionsgate, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures, STX Films, United Artists Releasing, Universal Pictures, The Walt Disney Studios, and Warner Bros and GLAAD took into consideration the consequences that the COVID-19 pandemic had on the film industry.

GLAAD's president & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said this regarding this year's study:

"This is a critical time of transformation for Hollywood – challenged to redefine business lines and practices during a global pandemic, driven by an increased demand from consumers hungry for new content, and rocked by the rightful reckoning and pressure for these studios to create more meaningful substantive change in representing and investing in marginalized communities. This transformation represents a great opportunity to swiftly accelerate acceptance of LGBTQ stories, break new ground, and invest in queer and trans talent and stories that audiences are eager to watch. Hollywood and the business of storytelling must be more nimble, more creative, more open than ever before."

While some progress was made this year in terms of racial and gender diversity as well as LGBTQ character screen time, GLAAD continues to advocate for an increase in characters living with HIV in hopes of lessening the stigma that exists.

According to the press release, 1.2 million Americans live with HIV and 38 million worldwide. Also, almost nine out of ten Americans still believe there is a stigma surrounding HIV.

Given these statistics, Hollywood needs to stay steadfast in LGBTQ inclusion, not only for awareness but also for the large and powerful LGBTQ audiences.

"We know that LGBTQ audiences are a powerful and invested audience – and a quickly growing one – as we see more and more people empowered to live their authentic lives. The power, passion, and growth of LGBTQ audiences proves that if studios wish to be successful in retaining and expanding fans, they must tell meaningful queer and trans stories. Nielsen reports that LGBTQ audiences are key box office drivers, heavy streaming users, and set the social conversation. As the industry looks towards a changing future, it is clear that LGBTQ characters need to be part of stories across all platforms of distribution, and prioritizing offering fan engagement experiences provides even greater opportunity for representation and inclusion. Sincerely engaging LGBTQ audiences can only benefit the studio's bottom lines," Megan Townsend the Director of Entertainment Research & Analysis at GLAAD said.

Click here to read the full report.


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