Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Anistion, even Jane Fonda have had bisexual moments in movies from last year. But, they’re not always great portrayals, according to the annual study by GLAAD which has monitored Hollywood studios producing films representing gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.
Of the 114 movies released by the seven major studios last year, only 17.5 percent of them included characters identified as lesbian, gay or bisexual. There were no identifiably transgender characters. That’s only a slight increase from the 16.7 percent of movies from 2013.
Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD, said TV is doing better than movies: “As television and streaming services continue to produce a remarkable breadth of diverse LGBT representations, we still struggle to find depictions anywhere near as authentic or meaningful in mainstream Hollywood film. The industry continues to look increasingly out of touch by comparison, and still doesn’t represent the full diversity of the American cultural fabric.”
For the past three years the major studios have been under scrutiny by GLAAD, and very few of them include bisexual characters. In fact, of the movies showing any BLGT characters, only 17.7 percent contained bisexual characters.
Here are some of the highlights of bisexual characters in film for 2014:
THE COUNSELOR. Cameron Diaz stars in the 20th-Century Fox movie, The Counselor, sporting an odd spotted tattoo over her upper body. Her character Malkina is bisexual, but her character’s same-sex attractions are only used to make another woman uncomfortable. She is the girlfriend of a drug kingpin and is seen caressing another woman by the pool, but that’s the most that is shown.
The GLAAD reports shows that this character is a murderous, duplicitous sociopath, not unlike how other bisexuals have been played in film (remember Basic Instinct?)
THE BIG WEDDING. This Lionsgate comedy holds a lot of secrets, and one of them is a racist mom of the bride called ‘Muffin’ played by Christine Ebersole. In one of the arguments among the family, Muffin says her husband “doesn’t harp on my fetishes.” That means her dalliances with women. She also calls Diane Keaton’s character “delicious.” GLAAD says the lines are played for laughs and the bisexual character could have been handled better.
THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS: CITY OF BONES. Science fiction has always allowed for more fluid sexuality that more realistic films seem uncomfortable with, and this Sony Columbia Pictures movie is a perfect example of that. The writer, Cassandra Clare told interviewers that she received a lot of pushback of the gay and bisexual characters in the story when she was shopping the movie to Hollywood, but her main characters Alec and Magnus made it to the big screen intact.
A girl who meets demon hunters who keep evil at pay comes across Alec, who is gay but keeps it from other hunters. However, a bisexual warlock named Magnus falls for Alec in the storyline. If there’s a sequel, their relationship becomes more explicit. The movie’s positive portrayals got it nominated for a GLAAD Media Award, however the bisexual character is once again on the evil side.
RIDDICK. Vin Diesel stars in the third anti-hero sci-fi story of Riddick for Universal Studios. The movie is filled with odd characters, and one of them, Dahl, is a bisexual sniper played by actress Katee Sackhoff. Dahl is called a “whore” and a “lesbo” and is also attracted to Riddick. There’s some painfully awkward dialogue where, for example, Riddick tells Dahl that he will “go balls deep into [her]but only after you ask me to, sweet-like.” Then, when she returns to rescue him at the film’s climax, she coos “Lemme ask ya something. Sweet-like,” and when finally leaving, Riddick says “Tell Dahl to keep it warm for me.”
WE’RE THE MILLERS. There’s gay panic that occurs in the comedy We’re the Millers from Warner Bros. in one scene where a male Mexican police officer (played by Luis Guzman) makes a pass at the two men posing as family members. The officer says he will let them go if one of the male characters performs a sex act on him. The straight guys have to consider the possibility, and later in the film, one of them meets a heterosexual couple interested in swinging both ways.
THE HANGOVER PART III. The often-naked Leslie Chow character in the Hangover franchise is always around and talking about beautiful women, but he also seems very gay or at least very attracted to other men. By the time the third film rolls around his character is offering to one of the male characters, “I could be a good wife to you!”
HORRIBLE BOSSES 2. Jennifer Aniston’s character was considered rather negative in her omnivorous sexual portrayal as a horrible boss. She comes on to a male employee, and then his wife.
THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU. In a spoiler climax to the film, Jane Fonda’s character tells her children at her husband’s funeral that she has had a long-term affair with her female neighbor. Although the B-word is never actually mentioned (one of the children asks if she’s a “lesbian”), it’s very clear the character has interest in men still, but is in love with a woman for the moment.
The report does talk about smaller indie films released, but few have them have anything but a mention of bisexuality.
Check out the full report here: http://www.glaad.org/sri/2014