LGBTQ+ representation in film reaches 11-year high, GLAAD reports

GLAAD have revealed the findings from this year's Studio Responsibility Index.

LGBTQ+ representation in film reached its highest point in 11 years in 2022, according to research conducted by the GLAAD advocacy group.

Each year, GLAAD, the world’s largest non-profit LGBTQ+ advocacy organisation, conducts a Studio Responsibility Index annual report. This year, the group analysed a record number of films to determine how well the LGBTQ+ community was represented.

Of the 350 films released by ten major film distributors last year, 100 (or 28.5 per cent) included at least one LGBTQ+ character, GLAAD determined.

In total, GLAAD counted 292 LGBTQ+ characters across those 100 LGBTQ+-inclusive films – 117 of those (40 per cent) being characters of colour.

An individual holds an LGBTQ+ progress flag infront of the Supreme Court.
GLAAD found that the films of 2022 had a record number of LGBTQ+ characters.(Getty)

That being said, the authors of this year’s report did note that more than half of those 292 characters had less than five minutes of screen time.

As part of their research, GLAAD analysed every movie released by A24, Amazon Studios, AppleTV+, Lionsgate, NBCUniversal, Netflix, Paramount Global, Sony Pictures Entertainment, The Walt Disney Company, and Warner Bros. Discovery in 2022.

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According to their findings, 163 of the recorded LGBTQ+ characters featured in last year’s films were men, 119 were women, and just 10 were nonbinary. Of the 163 men, six were transgender, and of the 119 women, seven were transgender.

Despite this low number, that marks a record high for transgender representation in film, according to GLAAD’s study.

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Similarly, just eleven LGBTQ+ characters were counted with a disability, which is a record high, but still vastly underrepresents the population.

The only film distributors that received a ‘Good’ rating included A24, Disney, and NBCUniversal.

In the 11 years that GLAAD has conducted these reports, no film distributor has ever received an ‘Excellent’ rating.

Commenting on this year’s findings, Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD said: “As we look to the next decade, Hollywood must deepen its work by investing in talent and resources to improve inclusive storytelling and marketing, as well as ensuring studio distributors use the power of their brand and platform to stand as an ally against discrimination and hate – something research has proven both consumers and employees want to see.”

President of GLAAD, Sarah Kate Ellis
Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD, commenting on this year’s findings. (Getty Images)

She added: “At a time when the LGBTQ community is under unprecedented cultural and political attacks, it is more important than ever to hold film studios accountable for how our community is represented on-screen. 

“The LGBTQ characters and stories found in this year’s study would not exist without the work of talented writers, actors, directors, and crew on all levels and GLAAD firmly stands in solidarity with the SAG-AFTRA and the Writers Guild of America in their efforts and contributions to fair and accurate storytelling integral to the LGBTQ movement.”

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