Showing posts with label Gay Movies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gay Movies. Show all posts

November 15, 2019

GLAAD is Asking 1 of 5 Prime Time Characters to be LGBT by 2025

  ( Source:LifeSiteNews) — The pro-LGBT actioGlad Asks For 1 of 5n group GLAAD released its annual report on the state of LGBT “representation” in television last week, and while it found a rise in prime-time depictions of homosexual and transgender characters, it’s demanding that Hollywood double its efforts so that a fifth of regular primetime characters are LGBT five years from now.
“Of the 879 series regular characters expected to appear on broadcast primetime scripted programming in the coming year, 90 (10.2 percent) were counted as LGBTQ,” the group reports, meeting an expectation set by the group last year and marking the “highest percentage of LGBTQ regular characters GLAAD has counted on primetime scripted broadcast programming.” 
That means that prime-time “representation” is more than double Gallup’s 2017 estimate that 4.5% of the U.S. population identifies as LGBT. (GLAAD cites a survey it did with Harris that supposedly found that 20% of Americans aged 18–34 are LGBT.) But the group wants that over-representation to double yet again, “calling on the industry to ensure that 20 percent of series regular characters on primetime scripted broadcast series are LGBTQ by 2025.”
“Further, we would challenge all platforms to make sure that within the next two years, half of LGBTQ characters on every platform are people of color,” the group adds. “While broadcast has actually hit this mark two years in a row, cable and streaming have yet to reach this goal.”
GLAAD claims that it wants only to ensure that “entertainment reflects the world in which it is created and the audience who consumes it,” but evidence suggests that effectively quadrupling the actual LGBT population will further contribute to widespread misconceptions. Gallup reported in June that Americans greatly overestimate the LGBT share of the population, wrongly assuming almost a quarter of the population to be homosexual.
While LGBT “representation” is steadily rising on American television, GLAAD has complained for years about the lack of gay characters and themes in major movies, as well as pushing for more LGBT content in videogames. In August 2018, it joined with the group Time’s Up to organize a coalition of more than 45 groups, talent agencies, and production companies demanding more frequent and favorable depictions of transgender characters in media.
However, GLAAD’s own research suggests an unavoidable conflict between activists’ increasing demands for identity politics and mainstream audiences’ decreasing willingness to be lectured in their entertainment. According to GLAAD, the aggressiveness of LGBT activists has yielded reductions in the share of Americans aged 18–34 who qualify as LGBT “allies.”

September 23, 2019

At The Gay Movies: 'End of the Century'

Juan Barberini, left, and Ramón Pujol in “End of the Century.”
Juan Barberini, left, and Ramón Pujol in “End of the Century.”
(Cinema Guild)
“End of the Century,” the intriguingly told story of a romantic relationship between two men that spans 20 or so years, evokes Andrew Haigh’s fine “Weekend” as well as a kind of gay spin on Richard Linklater’s “Before” films. But this seductive drama, written, directed and edited by Lucio Castro in his feature debut, carves its own niche as an intimate, time-jumping look at life and love’s fortuitous twists and turns.
This is the type of cleverly assembled movie whose virtues, evident as they might be in a single unspooling, may be best appreciated a second time around, given the cache of subtleties, hints and puzzle pieces that Castro weaves into his often dreamlike scenario. To that end, although target audiences will likely be captivated by the film’s swoony, emotionally authentic elements, viewers are urged to pay close attention to the little things — they resonate.
The story unfolds largely in five unevenly spaced segments that move among the present, past and future. The first and perhaps most alluring part finds Ocho (Juan Barberini), an Argentine poet living in New York and vacationing alone in Barcelona, hooking up with Javi (Ramón Pujol), a Spaniard visiting from Berlin (where he works directing children’s television), after they spot each other on the beach and later near the Airbnb Ocho is renting.
A quick beer and some nominal getting-to-know you talk gives way to an urgently sexy interlude, though not before a gear-switching condom debate suggests the general difference between these two attractive strangers. But are they really strangers? 
Later that day, on a lovely wine-with-a-view date, we and they learn more: Ocho recently exited a 20-year relationship with another man; Javi and his husband have an open marriage. Javi then reveals that he and Ocho have actually met before, something that has only suddenly — and, it should be said, not that plausibly — seemed to occur to Ocho, who’s maybe just been more consumed with his newfound sexual freedom and hot encounter with the fetching Javi.
Taking that conceit for what it is, we abruptly flash back 20 years to 1999. That’s when Ocho and Javi did, in fact, first meet through Ocho’s singer friend Sonia (Mía Maestro), who, at the time, was dating Javi. Though we’ll discover that the AIDS-phobic Ocho was also with women back then, both men were apparently questioning and closeted.
After a bonding day chatting and exploring Barcelona (the city is evocatively used throughout), Ocho and Javi end up sharing a wonderfully playful, tantalizing bro-dance to A Flock of Seagulls’ new-wave hit “Space Age Love Song.” Loosened up by the music, their moves and, of course, alcohol, the guys act on their palpable attraction. But they will prove to be proverbial ships in the night.
That Barberini and Pujol, with few physical adjustments, play their much-younger selves in this section is a bit distracting (would the 20-or-so Ocho really have Barberini’s graying hair?) but also a provocative choice that ultimately reinforces the film’s semi-surreal approach. An endearing thread involving a KISS T-shirt also factors in.
Want to see what social responsibility means in practice? Take a look at...

Castro lays out purposely shifting, at times inconsistent or contradictory character details in the present and past segments that are shuffled together to moving effect in the film’s third major movement. This one is set in a seemingly near future in which Ocho and Javi, ensconced in domestic warmth, are the fathers of a little girl.
Whether real or imagined, it’s a fitting arrangement for these two complementary men who, one way or another, seem meant to be in each other’s lives. Then again, are they truly destined — or is the whole thing just a credible sort of wish fulfillment?
Either way, we root for Ocho and Javi’s happiness; they’re good guys and they seem to deserve it.
Castro, with the help of his fine lead actors, nails so many of the relatable actions, reactions and nuances — the “chess game” of it all — that can occur between new or potential lovers, particularly gay ones. He also effectively captures the often fleeting choices and connections that lead us to grow, change and come into our own as adults, both younger and older. It’s a stirring and delicately reflective piece of work.
'End of the Century'
In Spanish with English subtitles

Not rated

Running time: 1 hour, 24 minutes

Playing: Started this weekend, Landmark Nuart Theatre, West Los Angeles

February 24, 2019

Adam Devine and Adam Gonzalez Want Movies With More Gay Dudes But Less Gay Dudes Killed Off

Adam Devine is just a boy, standing in front of audiences, asking them to love him.
Isn’t It Romantic stars Rebel Wilson as Natalie, a New York City architect who inexplicably finds herself stuck as the leading lady in an alternate PG-13 rom-com reality. Devine, 35, reunites with his Pitch Perfect co-star as Natalie’s best friend, Josh, who may also be her perfect match.
But as Devine tells NewNowNext, he’s been romancing gay admirers even before the homoerotic hijinks of Workaholics. In fact, he pretty much had us at “hello.”

Noel Vasquez/Getty Images

Isn’t It Romantic can be enjoyed by both hopeless romantics and cynical rom-com.... ........haters. How do you identify?

I straddle that fence. Honestly, I was always pretty indifferent when it came to rom-coms, but I didn’t know that some of my favorite movies, like The Wedding Singer, are full-on rom-coms. As a 13-year-old boy, I guess I wasn’t thinking about romance at all. Preparing for this movie, I realized that most of my favorite comedies are actually romantic comedies.

It’s fun to see you singing and dancing again with Rebel Wilson, especially after your absence from Pitch Perfect 3.

Rebel and I love working together. This was actually our fourth time working together after the first two Pitch Perfect movies, because one of the first TV shows she did in America was Workaholics. It feels like she’s my work wife and I’m her work husband. We’re so comfortable with each other, we improv really well, so I hope people are excited to see us back together.

There’s a recurring theme in your movies where you must compete for attention against hunky heartthrobs—Liam Hemsworth in Isn’t It Romantic, Robbie Amell in When We First Met, Zac Efron in Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates. Why does Hollywood do you dirty like that?

[Laughs] Look, I’m just glad I’m getting those roles because I’m definitely not getting the Liam Hemsworth roles, you know? I think it’s because I’m more relatable. Everybody has a buddy who’s like me—I hear that from people all the time—so I’m like someone you know and can hopefully root for.

Isn't It Romantic/Warner Bros.

For what it’s worth, I’d choose you every time, Adam.

Thanks, bud! I appreciate that. Believe me, I appreciate anybody who’d pick me over a Hemsworth.

Are you aware of your gay following?

Yeah, totally, and it’s very flattering to have that support. It’s funny because my first manager, TV producer Eddie October, is gay. After seeing me do a stand-up set at the Hollywood Improv Comedy Club when I was 21, he came up to me, like, “You’re going to be a star.” He was putting together this all-gay stand-up show that I couldn’t do because I’m a straight boy, but he wanted to make a tape of me doing stand-up, so we filmed my set at The Abbey in front of an all-gay audience. It was an awesome experience. Afterward, he was like, “You have no idea how many gay fans you’re going to have.” He called it.

RuPaul once called your Comedy Central series Workaholics “the gayest show I’ve ever seen in my life” and “gayer than Drag Race.” Was that a fair review?

It was the greatest compliment. I remember when RuPaul said that, because we all loved it. We were literally in the writers’ room high-fiving each other.

Working on episodes like “Gayborhood,” in which your clueless straight characters crash a Pride party and think they drunkenly had sex with each other, did you have LGBTQ viewers in mind?

Absolutely. With that episode in particular, we wanted to be the butt of the jokes. As straight white males, it’s easy to offend people and not even realize it, so we wanted to make sure that was coming from the best possible place. We felt like people really liked that episode and understood that we were only making fun of our idiotic characters.

Some of those gags could have been wildly offensive in the wrong hands.

Sure, but we just wanted to be funny. When you’re pushing any sort of comedic boundaries, some people are going to be offended. It’s better for clicks and likes nowadays if you’re offended by something, as opposed to just laughing and taking it for what it is. But the few times critics called us homophobic, it was straight critics being overly sensitive. The gay community has a great handle on comedy, and it’s cool that they’ve always been in our corner.

What does that homoerotic humor stem from?

You’re straight guys doing all this stuff that’s pretty gay—showering together after football practice, slapping each other in the dick—but you’re not secure enough in your own manhood to not nervously make jokes about it. It’s that insecurity, that eighth grade mentality, that’s so funny to me.

Game Over, Man!/Netflix

Your 2018 Netflix movie Game Over, Man!, which you also produced, had gay twists that weren’t essential to the plot. Why was it important to include that representation?

Well, we’d just never seen that in a movie before—henchmen who happened to be gay guys. Normally you don’t know a henchman’s backstory at all. We thought, well, gay people are everywhere, in all walks of life, why can’t there be two gay henchmen? And how funny would it be if I auto-erotic asphyxiated in front of them?

Blake Anderson’s character, Joel, also comes out to his buddies and becomes “the most powerful thing in the world: a pissed off gay dude.” What a great takeaway for a gay kid or bully who watches that.

I appreciate you saying that, because we came at that from a really good place, too. I also liked that when he finally comes out, his friends are like, “We know, dude. It’s fine.” 

You famously did full-frontal nudity in Game Over, Man! When you meet someone, does it ever cross your mind that they’ve probably seen your penis?

I don’t think about it unless they’re like, “Hey, I saw Game Over, Man! and really, really liked it.” If they lean into it like that, I’m like, oh, this guy’s talking about my dick. I actually did stand-up at a college right after Game Over, Man! came out. After a few minutes, I felt like the audience was a little tight, so I stopped, looked out at all these, like, 19-year-old college kids, and went, “Oh, you guys are being weird because you just saw my dick in a movie.” The place erupted.


Would you like to play a gay character?

Yeah, I’m down to play anything, as long as the script is great and I think I could bring something to the character. I certainly would never pass on a role because it was gay.

Pitch me a gay-themed movie starring you.

It seems like almost every gay movie is about some struggle—the struggle of coming out, how hard it is, people not understanding. I totally get that, of course, but I want to see a movie about two gay guys where being gay is not the main issue in their lives. I want to see them on a completely different journey that has nothing to do with them being gay.

Your move, Hollywood.

Right? I know I’d watch that.


August 21, 2018

Straight Actors Play Gay Characters But Gay Actors are Held Over For Gay Parts, What's Wrong With This Pic?

 Playing gay Jack together with girl friend

This article originally appeared on VICE UK.

"It's complicated," sighs Peppermint. "Talented actors, casting directors, and everyone involved in the making of art should feel free to create in the way they see fit. In a perfect world, anyone would be able to play anything." 
I'm talking to Peppermint—the first transgender woman to create a major role in a Broadway musical, Head Over Heels—because, once again, the question of cis/straight actors taking LGBTQ parts has hit the headlines, this time sparked by English comedian Jack Whitehall reportedly being cast in Jungle Cruise(which apparently isn't a gay porno). He's set to play Disney's first major gay character, despite being a heterosexual man. 
It's not the first time such a decision has been made by Hollywood: Just last month it was reported that Scarlett Johansson was set to star in the upcoming film Rub & Tug, playing a trans man (she later dropped out of the project). Nearly all the lead gay characters in 2008 movie Milk—a biopic of legendary gay rights activist Harvey Milk—were played by straight men. In The Danish Girl, Eddie Redmayne played the lead, a trans woman. The list continues. 
There's often outrage from queer folk when such announcements are made, but to outsiders, the reason for the upset is not always so obvious. Acting, by definition, is about transforming into a character; it's not about who you actually are. Polling from YouGov this week confirms that many share this view, with 70 percent of the British public seeing no issue with a straight person taking the first leading gay role in a Disney blockbuster. 
"I do really think, ideally, anyone should be able to play a perfect part for them," Peppermint continues, "but right now, gay, trans, and queer people need to participate in the telling of their own stories. Hollywood has a terrible history of creating movies and making money off the experiences of marginalized people, without letting them have any input in the process."
To Peppermint, it's firstly a question of authenticity, not just in who gets to play a queer part, but how that part is written, developed, presented, and performed: "We need to recognize that art plays a role in how marginalized people are treated and viewed by society. A lot of the time, Hollywood makes these stories about queer, trans, and minority folks and they get it wrong: there's offensive material, tragic storylines, one-dimensional, stereotypical characters with little depth." (See 2015 flop Stonewall for evidence.)
Peppermint at RuPaul's Dragcon. Photo: dvsross / CC By 2.0
Actor Nick Westrate agrees: "There's such a wealth of behavior, cultural history, and experiences that, as a queer person, you just know. As a straight person, there's so much you might miss, which years of research won't ever prepare you for." Gay people grow up learning how to assume straight characteristics, says Nick, as for them, code-switching is often a means of survival. "Our entire lives are sometimes premeditated on playing a straight person," he tells me. "Straight people playing gay might well do their research and watch Ru Paul's Drag Race, but they just can’t access the same depth of knowledge."
There's clearly a worry about the way queer characters are portrayed on stage or screen, but each actor I speak to makes it clear their concerns extend beyond just making great art: LGBTQ characters are often some of the only queer people visible in media, and with that platform comes great responsibility. When Rebecca Root was cast as the lead in BBC Two sitcom Boy Meets Girl, both she and the show made history. When it debuted, in 2015, it was the first comedy/drama series on British TV with such a major role for a transgender character played by a trans actor. "I know the idea of being a role model doesn't always sit comfortably with everyone," Rebecca tells me, "but I'm not unhappy with that label. It's just about being seen—saying, 'That's me, and you too can do what I do.' Real representation isn't just about seeing a character you can relate to; it's about seeing real people working at the highest of level of the industry."
"Most people have never met a trans person, and many kids won't have knowingly met a gay person," says Peppermint. "There's immeasurable value in inspiring youth when you feel ostracized, outcast, or different. Seeing people like yourself thriving is huge, both for queer people, but also their friends and family." And, Peppermint adds, a cis man playing a trans woman, who then takes the wig off and appears at a premiere as a guy with a beard, only reinforces the dangerous narrative that trans women are men, not women. 
A gay actor could use the platform of a Disney movie to speak about their own experiences, advance LGBTQ equality and be a visible queer figure for so many young people. Jack Whitehall, through no fault of his own, just can't do that. 
While there's clearly rationale in casting queer for queer parts, there are practical realities of the industry to consider too. Casting directors are under pressure to hire who they see as the best fit for a part, and asking someone about their sexuality when they walk into an audition hardly seems a sign of progress. "My job is very much to get the right person for the right role," explains Amanda Tabak, a casting director based in London. "We would never ask someone's sexuality when they walk in the door—it's not relevant." 
Amanda is clear that if there's a part for a Chinese person, putting up someone who isn't Chinese would be pointless (although whoever castScarlett Johansson as a Japanese character in Ghost in the Shell clearly didn't see this as such a problem). "People's sexualities aren’t written on their chest," Amanda says. "It's not that which dictates whether you’re getting a job or not."
It's a perspective that actor Giovanni Bienne—the chair of acting union Equity's LGBT+ committee—can only half-sympathize with. Giovanni feels expectations of LGBTQ actors in auditions are different to those of their cis, straight counterparts. "I don't go out for a straight romantic love interests a lot, but my agent said they thought it would help—if I were to—for me to stay in character during the chat afterward," he says, adding that he's heard that casting directors like his readings, but ask if could he keep "it" up? "That just doesn't happen to straight actors. Sean Penn didn't audition for Milk, but if he had, they wouldn't have him blow the casting team away, and then be told that he couldn't keep the 'gay' up afterward."
Giovanni accepts that with lesser-known actors their sexuality might not be known to whoever is casting, but non-LGBTQ actors can, too, help level the playing field. "A friend of mine called me recently saying he was being seen for a gay part, but it didn't feel right," he says. "I said go out for it, this is how it is, it's about whether we get the same opportunities. In the end, in an effort to support us, he decided not to."
Another point raised time and time again by those struggling to comprehend the Whitehall rage is that, ultimately, entertainment is a business. "A-list actors playing LGBTQ roles brings awareness, but they also get people though the doors to see a film," says Amanda Tabak. But after a generation of gay actors were lost to the AIDS crisis, maybe the industry has a responsibility to help make those new stars in the first place, and to make Hollywood a less hostile place to be openly gay. "If we hear a straight person gets a queer part because someone is a bankable star, we've just lost another chance for that person to make a name as a queer person," says Nick. "It's simple."
Clearly, the casting of Jack Whitehall as Disney's first gay character isn't in and of itself the problem, however much of a missed opportunity, or a lazy choice, it might at first seem. The problems are that in casting straight actors in gay roles we're not benefitting from the experience that queer people bring to queer parts, we're not letting queer people tell their own stories, and we're contributing to the woeful lack of IRL Hollywood LGBTQ visibility. 
Not one actor I spoke to thinks only non-straight people should play LGBTQ parts, or vice versa, but that a conscious effort needs to be made by all to help level the playing field. That means accepting that some queer people get written off for straight parts in a way that is imbalanced. It means understanding that LGBTQ people are a minority who need role models. It means not simply saying there isn't a queer star to take a part, but making one. And it means that if Disney is going to make a big deal about creating a gay character, they probably need to make a big deal about casting a gay actor, too. 

August 15, 2018

Disney Is Playing A Bait and Switch with the Public by Putting Out a Straight Jack for The Jungle Cruise

  Jack Whitehall and His Girlfriend Gemma

Sometimes it’s hard to know where to position yourself when it comes to equality. When asked, most of us would say we believe in it, encourage it, expect it. But occasionally a conundrum comes along that seems to have been created only to catch us out or test our perception of what it means to be equal.

As a gay man, and thus an automatic member of the LGBTQ community, I see my right to exist be free questioned on an almost hourly basis thanks to the power of the internet, and I have a crick in my neck from reaching up to the breadcrumbs of equality society has deigned to offer from its withered hand. This is why when it was announced Disney was making The Jungle Cruise, a movie which would feature a character who was “openly gay” – a phrase that in itself makes the idea seem like a sideshow at a carnival rather than a long overdue wrong being righted – I was cautious. The 21st century has taught me to react to ostensibly good news slowly, to wait for the punchline. In this case, it came in the form of the casting of Jack Whitehall, a British comedian and actor well known for his campy, posh-boy routine, including his own sitcom Bad Education, in which he played an effete, unlucky-in-love teacher. Whitehall’s own sexuality is, as far as I know, not confirmed, but until recently he was in a relationship with fellow actor Gemma Chan, so unless he is bi, a default view here would be that he’s straight. And this is where problems begin.
The casting of non-cisgender, queer or LGBTQ roles has been a hot topic recently – Scarlett Johansson became a meme thanks to taking on, before pulling out of, the role of a trans man – and Whitehall’s casting has attracted a great deal of debate, some of it enlightening and considered but mostly witless and hysterical. In the hours after the revelation, knee-jerk reactions and delirious takes from both sides seeped into every corner of the internet like red wine on a white rug. Some say it’s fine for a straight man to play a gay character, while others claim it’s unfair on gay actors, and guess what? They are both right, when talking generally. But this is an exceptional case and much of the debate centring around the Project Fear-esque assertion that “soon only gay actors will be able to play gay characters, so does that mean they can’t play straight any more?!” comes from one key misunderstanding – the true meaning of equality.

Whatever the dictionary might tell you, equality is not about treating everyone exactly the same, at all times. True equality comes from amplifying, raising up and offering opportunities to those whose lives have been blighted by inequality. The ones who have been left behind, ignored, forgotten and have suffered prejudice, unfairness and stereotyping. Levelling the playing field would take centuries of renovations and it’s pointless to pretend otherwise, so instead we make sure those who’ve never felt equality are offered the same chances as those who have historically dominated.
Nobody sensible is saying gay actors can’t play straight any more, or that gay characters can never be played by a heterosexual, but what we are saying is every gay role needs extra consideration – yes, every single one. Whether we like it or not, we live in a world where any modicum of LGBTQ representation is scrutinised by everyone on the spectrum. Is the role doing enough? Is the right person playing it? What impact could this have – negative and positive? Straight roles are ten a penny, they are everywhere, the default. Go count the number of LGBTQ characters in your local multiplex or on TV tonight. You won’t run out of fingers, I imagine.
But it’s also important we give Whitehall a fair hearing. “You’re not gay so you can’t play the role” doesn’t cut it at all, I’m afraid. Instead, let me explain. This is the first major “openly gay” role in a Disney movie. Disney movies have a reach and influence we can barely imagine – it is huge, the Princess Diana of celluloid. Your favourite Disney films carbon-date you. They are part of your childhood, and your children’s, and beyond. Imagine the impact this casting could've had on children, and their parents, if it had been an actual gay or bisexual actor doing the promo trail and talking about the role in relation to his own experience. It’s a sad truth there are fewer gay roles, especially in family movies like this, and having gay actors play them can help normalise the gay experience to a guaranteed global audience. It’s important to acknowledge the impact gay characters, and the people who play them, can have. They’re not like other roles; there is more hope and responsibility attached to them, and this one in particular is a landmark.

There have been complaints the gay character in The Jungle Cruise is very camp and very funny. This I don’t see as much of a problem – camp gay men exist, deal with it. But there is an angle here that a straight man acting out stereotypically gay characteristics on screen while actual gay actors get turned down for roles for not being butch enough or being “too gay” – even for gay roles, by the way – is another sign of imbalance.

And that’s why the casting of Whitehall isn’t appropriate on this occasion – not because of him, or his acting skills, or his race, or any of the low-grade insults you want to pick out of the barrage of unnecessary abuse he’s received over the last two days. It’s because it perpetuates the lopsidedness of LGBTQ representation in an overwhelmingly heterosexual world. This isn’t a personal issue with Jack: he’s a self-confessed Disney nut and this role no doubt means the world to him, so who could blame him for taking the challenge? The problem lies with those making the decisions about the character, and his casting; whatever their background or their intent, their approach needs work. They must read the room.
This role, this chance, this potential for glory, all should have been offered to a gay actor. The character and the audience deserve it.

May 24, 2018

A Record Low of LGBT Characters in Homophobic Hollywood

The number of Hollywood films featuring LGBTQ characters plummeted nearly 40 percent in 2017 compared to the year prior, an annual survey of the major movie studios by GLAAD said on Tuesday.
The group found that just 14 wide releases from the majors, as well as offerings from their indie divisions, were inclusive of queer identities in 2017, a drop from 23 films in 2016.
Only 12.8 percent of studio films contained characters who identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual or queer — the lowest percentage of LGBTQ-inclusive major studio releases since GLAAD began tracking in 2012. Trans characters were absent entirely from wide releases (though the report does contain praise for the Oscar-winning trans story “A Fantastic Woman,” released by Sony Pictures Classics). 
“On screen, record-breaking films like ‘Black Panther’ and ‘Wonder Woman’ prove that not only does inclusion make for great stories — inclusion is good for the bottom line. It is time for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer stories to be included in this conversation and in this movement,” said GLAAD CEO Sarah Kate Ellis in a fiery introduction the survey, called the Studio Responsibility Index (SRI).
Now in its sixth year, the SRI applies a secondary test to the films that rate as inclusive. Called the Vito Russo Test, it’s a set of parameters that vets a given film for the quality of its depiction of queer people (often in mainstream commercial fare, gay people are used as punchlines or provoke anxiety in straight characters).
Universal Pictures got the highest score of any studio but was still labeled “insufficient,” by the SRI. Of fourteen wide releases. four of the studio’s films made the grade. The highest praise was for Jordan Peele’s “Get Out.”
It’s a blink-and-miss moment, but there’s a revelation that Allison Williams’ character Rose also recruited at least one woman (Betty Gabriel) to bring home to her family, who conduct a sinister procedure that implants the brains of white people into able black bodies.
Glaad charts
Behind Universal was 20th Century Fox (whose touching coming-out movie “Love, Simon” was released in 2018 and did not count for this survey) which merited inclusion for a gay male couple in “Alien: Covenant” and the creative and crucial deployment of Elton John in the plot of “Kingsman: The Golden Circle.” Fox was dinged for a portrayal of platonic female friendship in Amy Schumer’s “Snatched.”
Paramount received a “poor” rating, with just two inclusive films (Ruby Rose’s character in “XxX: The Return of Xander Cage” being one), along with Lionsgate.
Disney’s eponymous label and portfolio studios Marvel, Lucasfilm and Pixar tied for the last place with Sony Pictures — with both studios only releasing one inclusive film and both earning a “poor” rating.
There was a small silver lining — while depictions of queer people are still overwhelmingly stories of gay men, people of color counted for 57 percent of those characters last year. None among them were Asian or Pacific Islander, however.
Ellis and leadership from GLAAD hosted a breakfast at the Beverly Hills offices of agency WME on Tuesday morning, where they presented the SRI to industry players. Lena Waithe and TK sat for a panel discussion afterward to discuss how Hollywood can increase quality representation in film.

February 6, 2018

Circumcision and Gay Love Sparks Controversy On Movie"The INXEBA/The wound"

Secrets brought to the big screen. (AP Photo/Obed Zilwa)
The creators of Inxeba/The Wound always knew the film would be controversial. A hidden gay romance set in the secretive world of a traditional initiation school for Xhosa boys, the film sparked outrage long before it was re
Secrets brought to the big screen. (AP Photo/Obed Zilwa)

The creators of Inxeba/The Wound always knew the film would be controversial. A hidden gay romance set in the secretive world of a traditional initiation school for Xhosa boys, the film sparked outrage long before it was released.

The film’s weekend release on Feb. 2 in cinemas around the country led to protests and some cinemas pulling the film after staff members were threatened. The producers persevered, with no major incidents taking place, except for the public debate on masculinity, cultural appropriation and the lengths communities have to go to protect their traditions. The knee-jerk response to the film, the first South African film  available on Netflix, is mostly linked to media coverage describing it as a gay love story among initiates, but the film is much more than that. The film’s producers argue that anyone who actually sees it and engages with its subject matter would immediately understand this. It follows the story of Xolani, played by musician and author Nakhane Touré, a lonely factory worker who also acts as a caregiver to initiates while they are isolated from society in the bush.
An openly gay city boy is Xolani’s charge this season, threatening to reveal Xolani’s own unspoken truth. Kwanda’s expensive sneakers and his insistence on wearing a nose ring along with his traditional initiates garb challenges notions of traditional masculinity in this rural setting, while his constant clashes with the other initiates openly question what it means to be a Xhosa man. Among the complex set of characters is Vija, a man trapped by his own traditions and social expectations of who must be as a man.
Critics argue that the film threatens to reveal the secrets of ulwaluko, Xhosa initiation rituals that are purposely shrouded in mystery. Each year, thousands of South African boys undergo circumcision as a rite of passage across several different cultures.
The age-old practice has come under modern scrutiny for initiate deaths at the hands of unscrupulous practitioners. While there have been attempts to regulate the practices, and modernize the tools and aftercare used, the vast majority of South Africans know few details of what goes on in the mountain. Most proponents of initiation believe that’s exactly how it should stay.
While the film is set among the temporary huts of the initiates (which will be burned down once they are men), it depicts little that is not already known by the public. The circumcision that marks the initiation process is dealt with sensitively, but it is not the center of the film, neither is it fetishized as those outside of the culture have done before.
Instead, its questions about manhood and being gay in South Africa are what drive the story in a country where same-sex marriage may be legal, but homophobic murders are rarely adequately prosecuted. This is also not the first time LGBTQI rights have been discussed within this rite of passage. It isn’t even the first time the process has been publicly discussed, as former president Nelson Mandela described his own experience in his bestselling memoir Long Walk to Freedom.
Critics of the protests have further questioned the selective outrage of the demonstrators. Protestors, including the Xhosa king, say it reveals the jealously guarded secrets of a tradition that has managed to endure oppression and modernization. If a story like this is to be told at all, whose right is it to tell that story, argue critics who see the film as the appropriation of Xhosa culture.
“It is not okay to subjectively delve into traditions and practices you are not a part of under the guise of sparking debate and engagement,” write Lwando Xaso and Zukiswa Pikoli, directly addressing John Trengrove, the film’s director. “It is not your place because you are not speaking as a member of that society.” Trengove is a white South African.
In what is one of the more sound criticisms of the film, the two Xhosa women writers argue that it was not the place of a white man to tell this story. That Trengrove wrote the screenplay with author Thando Mgqolozana, a black man who also happens to be the founder of an all-black literary festival, is seen as a “cheapening of our people,” they argue. 
Inxeba/The Wound has sparked a lot of conversations that is prompting more publicity than the low budget film could have hoped for, but it has been a painful experience for the producers and stars, who have endured death threats. In spite of this, it has managed to do what good art should: evoke uncomfortable but necessary conversations. Preventing screenings of Inxeba/The Wound won’t silence those questions.

adamfoxie🦊 Celebrating 10 years of keeping an eye on the world for You brings you the important LGBT news others ignore. Does not repost from gay sites [except only when importat athlete comes out].Will post popular items with a different angle or to contribute to our readers🦊 

Featured Posts

Two Gay GOP's Get Married by Their GOP Libertarian Friend Denver Riggleman, But The GOP Now Wants Riggleman OUT

 VICE When Anthony “Rek” LeCounte and Alex Pisciarino tied the knot last summer, they didn’t expect their weddi...