Every year, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) releases a “Studio Responsibility Index” that analyses the visibility of LGBT characters in the last year of movies. It was not a great year for Disney—but GLAAD has pointed to a galaxy far, far away where they could easily make some improvements.
None of the major studios in the 2016 Studio Responsibility Index report come off particularly well, but Disney in particular is lambasted by GLAAD for having zero LGBT representation in its past year of films, especially in its position as a “family” studio:
For the first time since beginning this report, GLAAD did not find any LGBT-inclusive content among Disney’s yearly slate of films. As recent successful animated films and TV programs have shown (Oscar-nominated ParaNorman, Cartoon Network’s Steven Universe), LGBT people appearing in ‘all-ages’ programming—animated or not—is not the impossible notion it once was. LGBT people are already part of families and communities around the world, and film of all genres should reflect that.
But GLAAD has some advice for Disney to improve on their dismal rating—and they specifically cite Star Wars as a good franchise for Disney to incorporate more LGBT representation into:
As sci-fi projects have the special opportunity to create unique worlds whose advanced societies can serve as a commentary on our own, the most obvious place where Disney could include LGBT characters is in the upcoming eighth Star Wars film. 2015’s The Force Awakens has introduced a new and diverse central trio, which allows the creators opportunity to tell fresh stories as they develop their backstory.
Yes, GLAAD basically just told Disney to make FinnPoe an honest to god thing.
GLAAD notes that in recent memory, this isn’t new for Star Wars—recent novels have introduced gay characters such as Moff Mors or Sinjir Velus—and even J.J. Abrams has called the introduction of an LGBT character in the movies an inevitable act. It’d be an easy win for Disney to bring some much-needed representation to its slate, and make the Star Wars galaxy a more diverse place in the process.