lgbt films

Is there something wrong with the LGBTI film industry?

A viral Twitter thread has dragged Netflix because of the lack of diversity in their LGBTQ Film section.

Despite the whole acronym being included in the classification, there are a disproportionate amount of films focusing on gay men.

The conversation sparked when Twitter user @dspxna wrote: ‘Someone let netflix know that 678 gay men films and 2 lesbian films doesn’t make a lgbtq section [sic.]’.

That’s a slight exaggeration, but the stats weigh up. We counted.

At the time of writing, there are 42 LGBTI films on Netflix UK (where the Tweeter is from). Of those, four films featured groups of mixed sexuality, or were non-fiction. But gay men won the majority of the representation, with 24 films starring gay characters. Second to that, lesbian films counted to 10. Bisexual people led four films.

Only one featured a transgender woman (Priscilla, Queen of the Desert), but they were not the protagonist.

Unsurprisingly, the vast majority of these films star white main characters.

Worst of all? The Babadook was nowhere to be seen.

It’s not just diversity

While the number of likes shows how many people agree, it also raised discussion about the quality of LGBTI films on Netflix.

One Twitter user noted that many of these movies are marked as ‘Mature’, making in inappropriate for under-18s. It’s also testament to the amount of films about the LGBTI community that revolve around sex.

‘it’d also be nice to have some ones that aren’t rated M. like. almost all of the lgbt films i’ve seen are either rated M or NR’

On Netflix UK, 14 of the films are rated M, six are rated 18, and 2 are rated ‘Adult’. This is compared to 16 rated ’15’, two rated ‘Guidance’, one rated ‘Teen’, and one rated ‘All’. Of all the lesbian films, only one is rated ’15’.

Others complained about the quality of the films. That, of course, goes down to taste…

‘You’re right. there’s far more “gay men”-films than “lesbian”-films on Netflix. But can we also talk about the quality of these films? Some of these are pretty bad, with a few exceptions. Must say the ratio on Australian Netflix is a little better [sic.]’.

Others have noted the trope, Bury Your Gays, as well as the fact most of these films center queerness as opposed as simply having queer characters in main roles:

‘But they’ll probably end up making more tragic love stories which inevitability ends with one of them dying. Can’t we get some classic romcoms (but minus the misogyny, and creepy entitled persons) for fucking once. Plus where them being queer isn’t the main point [sic.]’.

While it’s up to Netflix to address the diversity, we’ll be sitting down to watch the best LGBTI film of all time: The Babadook.

Related:

The Babadook got engaged at Seattle Pride and it was terrifyingly adorable