GLAAD is adding another metric by which they measure media companies.
In a new announcement, GLAAD unveiled a plan to start grading film studios on yearly political donations, public advocacy, and global LGBTQ+ content. The new grading system comes in response to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill and the controversy around Disney donating money to many of the politicians who support it.
The new grades will be incorporated into GLAAD’s annual Studio Responsibility Index, a study that looks at LGBTQ+ representation in movies released by the eight major film studios (Lionsgate, Paramount, Sony, STX, United Artists, Universal, Warner Bros, and Disney).
The Studio Responsibility Index previously assigned grades based on quantity, quality, and diversity of representation. The new grading rubrics include:
-Donations to anti-LGBTQ+ elected officials, Political Action Committees, and candidates.
-Public advocacy efforts around pro-LGBTQ+ and anti-LGBTQ+ legislation.
-LGBTQ+ inclusive ads or public communications, especially outside of Pride month.
-Actions taken to support a studio’s LGBTQ+ titles internationally.
“No company that chooses silence over allyship should receive high scores from LGBTQ+ organizations while nearly 200 anti-LGBTQ+ bills advance in states around the country, often targeting transgender youth,” GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said in a statement. “Corporations need to be held accountable for funding politicians that harm LGBTQ+ people, including their own employees, and for inaction on legislation that they can help defeat.”
Ellis specifically pointed to Disney as an example.
“LGBTQ+ inclusion is not just what happens on screen,” she said. “The Walt Disney Company and other media companies need to take immediate action in Florida and other states. Entertainment and media companies cannot profit from our stories and stay silent on laws that discriminate against us.”
Disney has been scrambling to find ways to save face after initially drawing criticism for donating to legislators supporting the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, and drawing even more criticism after the company CEO sent out a memo saying that the best way the company could fight bills like that one was not through money or direct action, but through producing “inspiring content.”