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Television / Movies / LGBT PopWrapped | Television

Industry Inequality? SAG-AFTRA Survey Suggests Bias In Regards to the LGBT Community

PopWrapped | PopWrapped Author


09/30/2013 10:02 am
PopWrapped | Television
Industry Inequality? SAG-AFTRA Survey Suggests Bias In Regards to the LGBT Community

Claudia Walrad

Staff Writer

The struggle of various minority groups for equal representation in media and entertainment is one that continues to remain relevant. In a perfect world, what is seen on our television screens and in movie theatres should represent the diversity of society. However, a recent inquiry seems to suggest that this ideal is not a reality for the LGBT community. While shows like Modern Family and Will & Grace have brought LGBT characters to the forefront, a recent SAG-AFTRA study uncovers a bias that is said to exist against LGBT actors. A survey was conducted in which over 5,600 union members participated. The results, released at the first ever SAG-AFTRA convention on Friday, might be somewhat alarming. Apparently, over one-third of the participating members reported "disrespectful" treatment. Nearly half of the gay and lesbian members, and 27% of the bisexual members, sensed that a definite bias against the LGBT community exists amongst casting directors, directors, and producers. Furthermore, over half of these individuals surveyed were said to have overheard discriminatory remarks on set. In the same vein, a recent statement released by GLAAD mirrors the findings - that a lack of LGBT representation exists in Hollywood. Apparently, out of 101 films released last year by the six major studios, only 14 featured LGBT characters prominently, 9 of them being comedies. Matt Kane, associate director of Entertainment Media at GLAAD, acknowledges the "lagging behind" of the film industry in the climb towards equal representation. While popular 2012 releases such as Pitch Perfect and Cloud Atlas can be applauded for their showcasing of LGBT characters, perhaps other creative forces in the industry will take note and follow in example. On a positive outlook, it appears as though the LGBT performers surveyed find an encouraging support system amongst one another. The study reveals that the LGBT community is openly welcomed and appreciated amongst the membership of SAG-AFTRA. Optimistically, the positive forces of inclusion will continue to overtake discrimination of all kinds in media and entertainment. If life really does imitate art, then hopefully the entertainment industry will take into consideration equality when deciding what to produce.


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