March 30, 2011
LGB audiences slam stereotyping in films
Lesbian, gay and bisexual people feel that they are negatively and inaccurately represented within films, according to a major study backed by the UK Film Council.
A majority of the research participants thought that LGB characters are too often portrayed in a stereotypical, tokenistic and exploitative fashion. 63% of the general population and 80% of LGB respondents said that characters who are gay or bisexual are usually defined by their sexual orientation.
Almost three quarters of LGB respondents also felt that films focus too much on the problems faced by gay and bisexual characters, rather than portraying them as everyday people. 70% of LGB respondents felt that gay and bisexual characters tend to appear as a token gesture in films, and 65% said that such characters are likely to meet a tragic end.
Lesbian and bisexual characters were specifically perceived as problematic by many. 64% of LGB respondents said that lesbian and bisexual women are portrayed as male fantasies, and 63% said that they were shown as too sexually aggressive.
The research also revealed similar levels of disillusionment amongst other under-represented minorities, including numerous minority ethnic groups. Interestingly, many minority groups seem more likely to visit the cinema on a regular basis than the wider public. 55% of LGB respondents said that they attend the cinema on a regular basis, as opposed to 31% of the general population.
“Film remains one of the most popular pastimes for people in the UK and this research highlights the often overlooked views, opinions and needs of the diverse groups that make up an important part of the film industry’s audience,” said Mary FitzPatrick, Head of Diversity at the UK Film Council. “Film has the ability to change behaviour and shift opinion, so we in the Industry all have a responsibility to ensure that these findings are not ignored.”
The study was one of the very last projects undertaken by the UK Film Council. The body will be dissolved on 1 April as part of the government’s programme of cuts.
Lady Ha Ha – Episode 2 – Jen chats to Zoe (A Ladyface Production)
Jen still naively optimistic about her show at Edinburgh, shows the first signs of doubt. Reluctantly Zoe advises Jen as to how best to approach this marathon Festival.
July 10, 2012