GLAAD, the organization dedicated to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer equality, has released its annual Studio Responsibility Index for 2020 — which covers films released in 2019 — and has found that for the third year in a row, there were no transgender characters in mainstream Hollywood movies.
GLAAD releases this report every year, with the purpose of analyzing mainstream American movies for representation of LGBTQ characters. The index takes into account most major Hollywood films, as well as certain smaller movies released by the art-house labels of major studios, such as Sony Pictures Classics and Focus Features. Beyond just determining whether a film features lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer characters, GLAAD uses its index to analyze the type of inclusion present, and grades studios and their output based on how they handle LGBTQ characters.
While general representation across the industry was up slightly at 18.6% versus 2018’s 18.2%, GLAAD found that there were no transgender characters in any of the 118 films that were part of this year’s Index. It’s worth noting that the report does discuss characters in John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum, Spider-Man: Far From Home, Hustlers, and Queen & Slim that are played by trans actors, but doesn’t count those characters as trans for the purposes of the index because they aren’t explicitly stated to be transgender in the movies themselves.
GLAAD also notes that while this is the third year in a row with no transgender characters in Hollywood films, television continues to have more transgender representation than ever. The index mentions shows like FX’s Pose and The CW’s Supergirl, as well as 9-1-1: Lone Star, The L Word, and Work in Progress, as having transgender representation. GLAAD also brings special attention to the recent Netflix documentary Disclosure, which focuses on representation of trans characters in film and TV.
For more information on GLAAD’s findings on representation in media, you can check out the organization’s full report.