LGBTQ Movie And TV Writers To Hollywood: ‘Dig Deeper And Do Higher’ On Illustration

LGBTQ movie and TV writers wish to remind Hollywood gatekeepers that progress on queer illustration has been gradual and incremental at finest, issuing an open letter Friday to induce the trade to “dig deeper and do higher.”

“It’s present-day Hollywood’s accountability to make proper all of the hurt brought on by Hollywood’s previous,” the leaders of the LGBTQ+ Writers Committee of the Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) wrote within the letter, mentioning that many facets of Hollywood’s historical past of silencing queer voices haven’t improved as a lot as trade leaders most likely assume.

Almost half of LGBTQ movie and TV writers in a WGAW survey final month mentioned “they’ve hidden their identification — or felt compelled to take action — in an trade atmosphere,” together with 25% of them as lately because the final 5 years, in line with the letter. Greater than 22% of respondents mentioned they’ve skilled overt discrimination or harassment over the past 5 years, and 57% mentioned they’ve skilled microaggressions within the office.

Traditionally, queer creators in Hollywood needed to disguise their identities, and underneath the Hays Code, which enforced morality requirements for Hollywood films till it was changed by the present rankings system in 1968, most queer characters “existed solely in subtext, trapped in a celluloid closet.” Whereas the trade has a minimum of inched towards the appropriate path, the writers identified that, to today, LGBTQ creators usually have to suit their tales into sure established narratives and tropes.

“Even in a post-Hays Code panorama, the prevailing narrative has not allowed LGBTQ+ characters the total scope of our humanity,” they wrote. “Too usually, we’re decreased to our collective traumas — popping out, victimization, the AIDS disaster, being murdered for our identities.”

The tales we inform, the tales you greenlight, decide the longer term that LGBTQ+ youth envision for themselves. What we see on-screen and the way we’re represented informs what we consider is feasible.
from an open letter to Hollywood, by the LGBTQ+ Writers Committee of the Writers Guild of America, West

The letter additionally calls out trade gatekeepers for treating queer illustration with a “‘there can solely be one’ mentality.” The writers mentioned that 25% of survey respondents “reported they have been ‘at all times’ or ‘usually’ the one LGBTQ+ author within the room.” Like different writers from underrepresented teams, queer writers stay principally on the backside of the ladder. And the degrees of illustration are even worse when taking intersectionality into consideration. Most queer writers who’ve “made it” in Hollywood are typically white, male, cisgender and non-disabled. 

“Sadly, this is identical sort of box-checking different underrepresented teams face, and it should cease throughout the board,” the writers wrote. “We refuse to really feel lucky to easily be allowed a seat on the desk, just for our presence for use as a ‘rainbow protect’ whereas our views are ignored.”

The letter comprises a sequence of suggestions that encapsulate how Hollywood gatekeepers nonetheless have many steps to go in making certain a extra equitable and inclusive trade. It’s hiring queer writers and ensuring they’re given an atmosphere the place they’re supported and may advance of their careers, not simply caught on the backside of the ladder. It’s creating larger working circumstances and protections, like offering gender-neutral amenities and well being care protection that features gender-affirming look after transgender individuals. 

The writers additionally urged Hollywood leaders to take a much bigger stand, akin to vocally opposing anti-trans legal guidelines. Up to now this 12 months, a minimum of 33 state legislatures have launched laws that discriminates towards trans individuals.

“Lots of our productions are in these states,” the writers mentioned within the open letter. “Hollywood should get up and vociferously converse out towards the wave of anti-trans laws, not merely with phrases, however with actions. The trade has spoken out towards anti-abortion and anti-voting legal guidelines prior to now. We should do the identical now.”

On a extra elementary degree, the writers reminded trade leaders that they’ve an immense accountability in interrogating what sorts of photographs Hollywood and popular culture places in entrance of audiences.

“The tales we inform, the tales you greenlight, decide the longer term that LGBTQ+ youth envision for themselves. What we see on-screen and the way we’re represented informs what we consider is feasible,” they wrote within the letter. “The notion that even a single queer character might be deemed an excessive amount of of a threat in our more and more world market is unacceptable. Reject this concept, or knowingly select to reject us.”


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