Representation is emerging in the entertainment industry

Matthew Zandi, Staff Reporter

Hollywood is experiencing more inclusivity. Over the past few years, many television shows and movies have seen LGBTQ+ and BIPOC representation. Current box office hits like Venom: Let There Be Carnage and Eternals have LGBTQ+ characters. 

In Venom, the main characters,Venom and Eddie Brock, seem to have a hinted romance in the movie. Seeing the two main characters in one of the most popular movies of the year be involved in a gay relationship is significant for the community. According to Tell Tales Online’s most popular shows of 2021, eight of the top ten shows of the year have at least one LGBTQ+ character in it. Those shows being Sex Education, What If…?, Money Heist (La Casa de Papel), Rick and Morty, The Walking Dead, Loki, Mare of Easttown, and American Horror Story. Representation in entertainment is becoming so normalized that shows without representation spark controversy. Notable shows that have suffered criticism for this are Squid Game and Ted Lasso

Throughout entertainment history, LGBTQ+ characters were rarely a main character or even a character within a show. This was a common occurrence not that long ago. After calling out the fact that these characters were missing in shows, television started to make major changes in 2018. For a while, there was a trope that the gay character in any show would eventually die off. Star Trek: Discovery made it clear when trying to change this. A gay character in their show was killed off and the showrunners immediately made it clear that even if he died, he isn’t permanently gone from the show. In its next season, the character, played by actor Wilson Cruz, was brought back to life. He then was listed as a main character. 

GLAAD reports on LGBTQ+ representation on television every year. They concluded that each  year since 2013, the number of LGBTQ+ characters in television has increased. The number decreased in the past year, but that was expected due to the halting of production because of the coronavirus pandemic. There is still room to grow, as only 9.1% of regular characters in primetime shows are LGBTQ+. In 2021, only 2.9% of characters overall were LGBTQ+, GLAAD reported. 

Representation of the LGBTQ+ community has seen a major increase in recent years. The community is glad to see the standards for entertainment shift – but they are not done yet. According to the same year end report from GLAAD, only 9.1% of regular characters identify as being LGBTQ+, so there is more room for improvement. The community would like to see even more involvement and inclusion in the coming years, and it is interesting to see how this will play out.