GLAAD set to rate movie studios on political donations

GLAAD announced that it would rate film studios based on their political donations.

For the past few years, the influential LGBTQ+ organization has led its annual Studio Accountability Index.

The report, which is released each summer, assesses LGBTQ+ representation in films from eight major film studios, including Lionsgate, Sony, Paramount, Warner Bros, United Artists, STX and Disney.

March 10, GLAAD has revealed they will be adding new ratings in response to the numerous anti-LGBTQ+ bills circulating in the United States.

“No company that chooses silence over alliance should receive high scores from LGBTQ organizations as nearly 200 anti-LGBTQ bills advance in states across the country, often targeting transgender youth,” said said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis.

“Companies must be held accountable for funding politicians who harm LGBTQ people, including their own employees, and for inaction on legislation they can help defeat.”

Ellis also pointed to the ongoing controversy surrounding Disney and Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

“The Walt Disney Company and other media companies must take immediate action in Florida and other states. Entertainment and media companies cannot profit from our stories and remain silent about laws that discriminate against us.

As part of the adjusted report, movie studios will be rated in the following new sections.

  • Donations to anti-LGBTQ+ elected officials, election candidates, and anti-LGBTQ+ political action committees of a film studio and parent company.
  • Public advocacy efforts by a movie studio or parent company around pro-LGBTQ+ or anti-LGBTQ legislation.
  • LGBTQ-inclusive announcements or other public communications, especially outside of Pride Month.
  • Steps taken to support a studio’s LGBTQ+ inclusive titles globally.

GLAAD’s inclusive decision came days before Disney CEO Bob Chapek announced the suspension of political donations in Florida.

“We are working hard to create a new framework for our political giving that will ensure our advocacy better reflects our values. And today, we are suspending all political donations in the State of Florida pending this review,” he wrote in a company-wide memo.

Chapek also apologized to Disney’s LGBTQ+ employees, who had recently called out the company for its censorship of Pixar movies.

“Talking to you, reading your messages and meeting you helped me better understand how painful our silence was,” he said.

“It’s clear that this is not just an issue with a bill in Florida, but rather another challenge to basic human rights.” You needed me to be a stronger ally in the fight for equal rights and I failed you. I apologize.”

GLAAD’s 10th Annual Studio Responsibility Index is set to be released later this summer.