Media watchdog Glaad calls for more substantial homosexual roles in major Hollywood films

Out of 101 films released by the major studios, 14 films had lesbian, gay or bisexual characters

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The Independent Culture

Homosexual characters must appear more regularly and in more substantial roles in Hollywood blockbusters, media watchdog Glaad urged today.

Glaad - formerly known as the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation - revealed that only to 13 per cent of films released by the six major US studios in 2012 contained lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) characters.

The group has tracked the presence of LGBT characters on television for two decades. Now it is scrutinising movies as well.

"Hollywood films are one of the country's most visible cultural exports," Glaad spokesman Wilson Cruz said. "Whether it's an action hero or a supporting character, moviegoers should be able to see LGBT people as integral players in the stories told by leading Hollywood studios."

Today the group released its first annual Studio Responsibility Index which showed that out of 101 films released by the major studios, 14 films had lesbian, gay or bisexual characters.

The report called for more LGBT characters in films as well as giving them bigger roles, especially in big budget action movies and comic book adaptations.

It pointed out that Cloud Atlas, which included gay characters, started outside the studio system, while the Avengers Assemble included a "blink and you'll miss it" appearance by gay news anchor Thomas Roberts who played himself.

The "vast majority" of the LGBT characters were just cameos, the report found, adding none of the films had transgender characters.

Glaad complained that some appearances were not necessarily positive such as Javier Bardem's villain Silva in Skyfall, who was described as bisexual.

The report said his character "plays into some old cinematic clichés of bisexual people being duplicitous or unbalanced".

The report came up with a test to determine whether an LGBT character was defined by more than their sexual orientation in a film. Only six of the 14 passed with the best marks going to Cloud Atlas and Pitch Perfect.