Hollywood Movies with LGBTQ Characters Set Record Low in 2017

Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian in 'Solo.'
Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian in 'Solo.' (Star Wars/YouTube)

An annual survey of movies done by GLAAD found that movies featuring LGBTQ characters in 2017 dropped 40 percent. According to the study, of the 109 movies GLAAD counted from major studios, only 14 of them contained LGBTQ characters.

A growing trend is for filmmakers or actors to announce that certain characters are LGBTQ when promoting the movie to the press but leave this fact out of the movie itself.

For example, in Lionsgate's Power Rangers reboot, the Director announced that the Yellow Ranger was questioning her sexual orientation, though this isn't something that can be deduced from watching the movie itself. In Thor: Ragnarok, Tessa Thompson, who plays the character Valkyrie, said her character is bisexual, but even GLAAD said in their report this wasn't included in the movie. More recently, one of the writers of Solo: A Star Wars Story said Lando Calrissian is "pansexual," though this too isn't shown in the movie.

Family and child advocate Dr. Ted Baehr, founder and publisher of Movieguide®, believes that one reason the studios may avoid including LGBTQ characters prominently in their major tentpoles is because the movies are heavily promoted internationally in countries that don't celebrate homosexual behavior.

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"According to Movieguide®'s Annual Report to the Entertainment Industry," he noted, "movies with very strong LGBTQ content averaged only $7.1 million at the domestic box office, a 63 percent decrease from the year before."

Some movies that GLAAD celebrates, such as smaller movies like Call Me by Your Name, do feature explicit LGBTQ content, but one of the other movies they praised, Kingsman: The Golden Circle simply had the gay celebrity Elton John playing himself in a cameo.

Baehr said, "On the other hand, movies featuring strong Christian or redemptive content earned an average of $75.74 million at the box office in 2017, a 31 percent increase from 2016."

Author of The Culture-Wise Family and How To Succeed in Hollywood (Without Losing Your Soul), Dr. Baehr is chairman of the Christian Film & Television Commission® (CFTVC) and its family guide to movies and entertainment, Movieguide® (movieguide.org).

Now in their 33rd year, CFTVC and Movieguide® are the largest, longest-running international, non-profit ministry dedicated to "redeeming the values of the entertainment industry by influencing industry executives and by informing and equipping the public about the influence of the entertainment media."

Movieguide®'s Annual Faith & Values Awards Gala honors the best, most family-friendly movies and television programs honoring God and inspiring audiences with messages of faith, hope, goodness, justice, redemption, forgiveness and true divine love. At the awards, Dr. Baehr presents highlights from Movieguide®'s Annual Report to the Entertainment Industry, a comprehensive financial analysis of the movie business showing what kinds of movies and what kinds of movie content moviegoers favor the most with their hard-earned money.

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