GLAAD attacks Marvel, DC for excluding LGBT elements in superhero films
May 23, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) -- The pro-homosexual lobbying group GLAAD released its annual “Studio Responsibility Index” grading 2017 film releases for inclusion of LGBT characters and themes, and found last year’s slate of superhero blockbusters wanting.
Overall, the report found a “significant decrease in the number of LGBTQ-inclusive films distributed by major studios in 2017 – down to 14 from 23 the previous year.” The number ties for the “fewest number of inclusive releases since GLAAD began tracking in 2012.” The group also complained about the “complete lack of transgender characters in major studio releases.”
Pro-family activists have noted that GLAAD’s previous work on the subject ignores the fact that Hollywood’s percentage of homosexual characters still tends to dramatically exceed their actual share of the U.S. population.
GLAAD grades 20th Century Fox, Lionsgate, Paramount, Sony, Universal, Walt Disney, and Warner Bros. all as “poor,” “failing,” or “insufficient.” In response, it demands that all seven studios “make sure that 20 percent of annual major studio releases include LGBTQ characters by 2021, and that 50 percent of films include LGBTQ characters by 2024.”
In particular, the report complained that “LGBTQ people remain almost completely shut out of Hollywood’s big budget comic films,” despite the increasing regularity of such characters in comic books. Specifically, the report called out last year’s Wonder Woman, Thor: Ragnarok, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and Spider-Man: Homecoming.
GLAAD claimed the film debut for DC Comics heroine Wonder Woman should have followed writer Greg Rucka’s 2016 decision to depict her as bisexual in the books. “Being an out and proud bi woman would be in line with her ideals to fully live her own truth and recognize all parts of herself,” the report argued. However, the character has been depicted as straight for the vast majority of her 76-year history, and the movie paired her with her most iconic love interest, pilot Steve Trevor.
Marvel Studios’ third Thor film received a failing grade because it “included two prominent characters who are bisexual and queer respectively in the Marvel source comics: Valkyrie and Korg,” but “did not include any references to their identities or love interests.” Further, director Taika Waititi filmed a scene in which a woman exits Valkyrie’s bedroom but omitted it from the film (nor was it included in the Blu-ray deleted scenes). Actress Tessa Thompson says it was ultimately rejected for distracting from plot exposition, but whether studio intervention played a role is unknown.
The report also chided the Guardians sequel for its lack of LGBT characters, despite director James Gunn suggesting “(w)e might have already done that” because the film has so many diverse characters that audiences are free to infer their sexuality for themselves; and the latest Spider-Man film for prioritizing racial diversity but ignoring “LGBTQ” diversity.
Notably, these results come despite Marvel’s parent company Disney actively promoting the homosexual agenda in its parks and TV programming. This, paired with GLAAD’s mention that superhero television shows “regularly include LGBTQ characters,” suggests that studios’ resistance to doing the same with their motives is not a principled stand but an attempt to avoid getting edited or banned in the lucrative Chinese market.
However, there is reason to suspect domestic audiences are growing wary of “representation,” as well. In addition to GLAAD’s acknowledgement that LGBT movie characters have hit a record low, despite increasing celebration of homosexuality in other areas of society, Marvel has canceled all three of its comic book series that won GLAAD awards last year, citing poor sales. Last year, the publisher faced backlash from comic retailers for harming their business with their content’s “social justice” emphasis, and has reportedly pledged to deemphasize politics moving forward.
In March, GLAAD found that America’s LGBT acceptance has actually begun to decrease, which social conservatives attribute to the LGBT lobby’s transition from “live and let live” arguments to infringing on the religious, conscience, and privacy rights of Americans who disagree with them.