GLAAD an organization that touts itself as tackling “tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change” to rewrite “the script for LGBT acceptance” recently released their sixth annual Studio Responsibility Index which “maps the quantity, quality, and diversity of LGBTQ people in films released by the seven largest motion picture studios and their subsidiaries during the 2017 calendar year.”

The recent report indicates that “of the 109 releases from major studios in 2017, only 14 (12.8%) of them included characters that are LGBTQ.” Their report goes on to indicate “this represents a significant decrease from the previous year’s report (18.4%, 23 out of 125), and the lowest percentage of LGBTQ-inclusive major studio releases since GLAAD began tracking in 2012.” GLAAD called this an “alarming drop in LGBTQ characters in major studios films.”

However, Daily Caller writer Derek Hunter rightfully points out that the LGBTQ community was actually over represented based on the actual percentage of the United States population they make up.

A Gallup poll taken in 2016 indicated the LGBT population in the United States was 4.1% of the total population.

Despite already seeing LGBT characters over represented in major studio films, GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis demanded the studios “make sure that 20% of annual major studio releases include LGBTQ characters by 2021, and that 50% of films include LGBTQ characters by 2024.”

GLAAD would go on to target Marvel Studios and the Marvel Cinematic Universe along with Warner Bros. and DC Films in their report stating, “There have been several films in recent years that have erased a character’s queer identity as they moved from page to screen. In 2017, Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok and DC’s Wonder Woman both included characters who are queer in their source material, but did not include any on screen confirmation of their identities. This must change going forward.”

I find it highly suspect that GLAAD doesn’t actually mention the characters from these films in their criticism. One can assume they are referring to Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok. However, this claim is suspect at best. The original Valkyrie was not LGBT. In fact, she only exhibits LGBT tendencies after merging bodies with Dr. Annabelle Riggs who is a lesbian.

As for which character they could be referencing in Wonder Woman, it might be Diana Prince or Wonder Woman. This isn’t the first time GLAAD has targeted Wonder Woman either. In September of last year, GLAAD campus ambassador Gianna Collier-Pitts created a petition to make Wonder Woman bisexual in the DC Films Universe which stars Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. She used the words of Wonder Woman: Rebirth writer Greg Rucka to support her petition who said in his story, “Now, we are saying Diana has been in love and had relationships other women? As Nicola and I approach it, the answer is obviously yes.” In the film, Wonder Woman’s love interest was Steve Trevor, who is her long time love interest in the comics. She’s also had relationships with Batman and Superman among others.

GLAAD would go on to give Walt Disney, the parent company of Marvel Studios a “poor” rating. They would give Warner Bros. a “failing” rating.

What do you think of GLAAD’s criticism of Marvel Studios and Warner Bros. for their LGBT representation? Do you think Marvel Studios and Warner Bros. should accede to their demands?

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About The Author

John F. Trent

John is the Editor here at Bounding Into Comics. He is a massive Washington Capitals fan, lover of history, and likes to dabble in economics and philosophy.

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