The 2017 GLAAD Awards Nominations Reveal The Lack Of LGBTQ Stories In Mainstream Films

A24
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Check out the list of nominees for the 2017 GLAAD Awards, and you'll notice something different. For the first time in nearly a decade, the category of Outstanding Film — Wide Release features less than the usual five nominees. In fact, it only includes two movies: Star Trek Beyond, which broke barriers by revealing Hikaru Sulu is gay, and Moonlight, the Oscar-nominated film that focuses on the coming of age of a black man. Back in 2008, the GLAAD Awards nominated three movies in the Outstanding Film — Wide Release category: Across The Universe, The Jane Austen Bookclub, and Stardust. But you actually have to go all the way back to 2004 to find a year when the awards only nominated two movies in this category (Under The Tuscan Sun and eventual winner Bend It Like Beckham).

The GLAAD Awards celebrate those movies, TV shows, music, and comic books that focus on "fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and the issues that affect their lives." But, this year, there just wasn't as many mainstream movies to celebrate. In a statement GLAAD said the nominations are "reflective of the mainstream film industry’s dearth of LGBTQ-inclusive storylines."

This is clear from the five nominees in the category of Outstanding Film — Limited Release: a Korean lesbian erotic thriller (The Handmaiden), a drama about two closet Muslim teens (Naz & Maalik), a drama that focuses on a closeted Korean-American teenager (Spa Night), a romantic love triangle about a gay painter (Those People), and a dark comedy about a struggling gay comedy writer (Other People).

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While the lack of nominees for Outstanding Film — Wide Release is a sign of the work Hollywood still needs to desperately do, there's something uplifting about Moonlight's nomination. A story entirely dedicated to the sexual journey of a person of color is rare. Even rarer is it for a film like this to be given wide release. In the 28 years the awards have taken place, only four movies focused on Black/African-American stories have been nominated for Outstanding Film - Wide Release: 1995's To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything Julie Newmar, 1996's Set It Off, 2005's Rent, and Moonlight. In that same time, only two nominated films featured Black/African American characters in supporting roles: 2015's Dope and Precious in 2009.

Last year, GLAAD looked at the LGBT characters in 126 releases from the major studios in 2015 and found that racial diversity "drastically decreased" from the year before. Out of the 47 LGBT characters they counted in these films, 34 were white, while only four were Black/African-American, five were Latino, three were Asian/Pacific Islander, and one character was categorized as non-human. Moonlight alone includes two gay characters, both of whom are African-American.

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That is a small win for sure, one that certainly needs to be expanded upon, but the GLAAD Awards did have some real victories. This year, for example, the categories of Outstanding Music Artist and Outstanding Comic Book were significantly expanded to include the wide range of releases that celebrate the LGBTQ+ community.

Here is the full list of nominees for the 28th Annual GLAAD Awards.

OUTSTANDING FILM — WIDE RELEASE

  • Moonlight (A24)
  • Star Trek Beyond (Paramount Pictures)

OUTSTANDING FILM — LIMITED RELEASE

  • The Handmaiden (Amazon Studios/Magnolia Pictures)
  • Naz & Maalik (Wolfe Releasing)
  • Other People (Vertical Entertainment)
  • Spa Night (Strand Releasing)
  • Those People (Wolfe Releasing)

OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES

  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine (FOX)
  • Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (The CW)
  • Grace and Frankie (Netflix)
  • Modern Family (ABC)
  • One Mississippi (Amazon)
  • The Real O'Neals (ABC)
  • Steven Universe (Cartoon Network)
  • Survivor's Remorse (Starz)
  • Take My Wife (Seeso)
  • Transparent (Amazon)

OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES

  • The Fosters (Freeform)
  • Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
  • Hap and Leonard (SundanceTV)
  • How to Get Away with Murder (ABC)
  • The OA (Netflix)
  • Orphan Black (BBC America)
  • Shadowhunters (Freeform)
  • Shameless (Showtime)
  • Supergirl (The CW)
  • Wynonna Earp (Syfy)

OUTSTANDING INDIVIDUAL EPISODE

(In A Series Without A Regular LGBTQ Character)

  • "Attention Deficit" The Loud House (Nickelodeon)
  • "Bar Fights" Drunk History (Comedy Central)
  • "Johnson & Johnson" Black-ish (ABC)
  • "San Junipero" Black Mirror (Netflix)
  • "Vegan Cinderella" Easy (Netflix)

OUTSTANDING TV MOVIE OR LIMITED SERIES

  • Eyewitness (USA Network)
  • London Spy (BBC America)
  • Looking: The Movie (HBO)
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let's Do the Time Warp Again (FOX)
  • Vicious: The Finale (PBS)

OUTSTANDING DOCUMENTARY

  • Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures (HBO)
  • Out of Iraq (Logo)
  • The Same Difference (Centric)
  • Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four (Investigation Discovery)                
  • The Trans List (HBO)

OUTSTANDING REALITY PROGRAM

  • Gaycation (Viceland)
  • I Am Cait (E!)
  • I Am Jazz (TLC)
  • The Prancing Elites Project (Oxygen)
  • Strut (Oxygen)

OUTSTANDING MUSIC ARTIST

  • Against Me!, Shape Shift With Me (Total Treble Music/Xtra Mile)
  • Blood Orange, Freetown Sound (Domino)
  • Brandy Clark, Big Day in a Small Town  (Warner Bros. Records)
  • Tyler Glenn, Excommunication (Island Records)
  • Ty Herndon, House on Fire (BFD)
  • Elton John, Wonderful Crazy Night (Island Records)
  • Lady Gaga, Joanne (Interscope Records)
  • Frank Ocean, Blonde (Boys Don't Cry)
  • Sia, This is Acting (RCA Records)
  • Tegan and Sara, Love You to Death  (Warner Bros. Records)

OUTSTANDING COMIC BOOK

  • All-New X-Men, written by Dennis Hopeless (Marvel Comics)
  • Black Panther, written by Ta-Nehisi Coates (Marvel Comics)
  • DC Comics Bombshells, written by Marguerite Bennett  (DC Comics)
  • Kim & Kim, written by Magdalene Visaggio (Black Mask Studios)
  • Love is Love, anthology originated by Marc Andreyko (IDW Publishing, DC Comics)
  • Lumberjanes, written by Shannon Watters, Kat Leyh (BOOM! Studios)
  • Midnighter / Midnighter and Apollo, written by Steve Orlando (DC Comics)
  • Patsy Walker, A.K.A Hellcat!, written by Kate Leth (Marvel Comics)
  • Saga, written by Brian K. Vaughan (Image Comics)
  • The Woods, written by James Tynion IV (BOOM! Studios)