July 22, 2014 2:30 pm

GLAAD reports on lack of LGBT characters in movies

Canadian actor Kevin Zegers plays a gay character in the made-in-Toronto film 'The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.'

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TORONTO — Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender characters appeared in only a fraction of the major movie releases last year, according to a study released Tuesday.

The annual Studio Responsibility Index from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) found that only 17 of the 102 studio films released in 2013 had LGBT characters.

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The report looks at the “quantity, quality and diversity of images” of LGBT people in films released by seven motion picture studios.

Many of the 25 LGBT characters GLAAD counted were on screen for only a few seconds and some were defamatory representations. None were lead characters.

GLAAD noted that anti-gay slurs in movies are on the decline.

Here’s how the major studios fared in the GLAAD study:

Sony Columbia Pictures – Good

Three of Sony’s 15 releases included LGBT characters. The made-in-Toronto movie The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones was singled out for having both a gay character (played by Ontario’s Kevin Zegers) and a bisexual character (played by B.C.-raised Godfrey Gao).

Battle of the Year featured a gay dancer named Lil’ Adonis.

Sony’s Grown Ups 2 had a gay male yoga instructor but GLAAD said “much of the film’s humour is needlessly offensive” — including jokes about a female bodybuilder secretly being a man.

20th Century Fox – Adequate

Only one of Fox’s 14 releases in 2013 featured a gay character — the Russell Crowe-Mark Wahlberg drama Broken City.

LionsgateAdequate

The studio had three films with LGBT characters out of 21 it released last year: Tyler Perry Presents Peeples, The Big Wedding and Instructions Not Included.

Universal Pictures – Adequate

Three of 15 Universal releases in 2013 included LGBT characters, including Insect Man (British actor Robert Emms) in the made-in-Ontario action comedy Kick-Ass 2.

GLAAD was less impressed with Katee Sackhoff’s lesbian character in the Montreal-shot Riddick.

Walt Disney Studios – Adequate

Only two of Disney’s 10 releases had LGBT depictions. GLAAD commended Delivery Man (a remake of the Canadian film Starbuck) for included a gay character and scenes of same-sex kissing.

The report also noted Iron Man 3 had a cameo by openly-gay news anchor Thomas Roberts.

Paramount Pictures - Failing

Two of Paramount’s nine releases included LGBT characters but GLAAD said both were defamatory.

In Pain & Gain, a priest is beaten up after hitting on a body builder. “This event is completely absent from the article the film is based on,” the report reads, “meaning it’s just a mean-spirited scene that could have been removed without any bearing on the plot.”

A gay character in The Wolf of Wall Street is also seen being beaten up.

Warner Bros. – Failing

The studio released 18 films but only three were LGBT inclusive: We’re The Millers, The Hangover Part III and Grudge Match.

None were positive depictions of LGBT people, according to GLAAD.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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