GLAAD on Oscar nominees: Record Number of LGBTQ-inclusive Films Nominated for Best Picture

January 22, 2019

GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis: “Today’s Oscar nominees reflect a banner year for LGBTQ inclusion in film”

Los Angeles, CA – GLAAD, the world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, today applauded LGBTQ-inclusive and out nominees for the 91st Academy Awards. GLAAD, which counts the number of LGBTQ characters in releases from the seven largest film studios in its annual Studio Responsibility Index, also spotlighted a record number of LGBTQ-inclusive films nominated for Best Picture.

The LGBTQ-inclusive films A Star is Born, Green Book, Vice, The Favourite, and Bohemian Rhapsody received nominations for Best Picture. Five of the eight films nominated for Best Picture are LGBTQ-inclusive, the highest number of LGBTQ-inclusive films that have ever been nominated for Best Picture in a single year. The two most recent Best Picture winners highlighted LGBTQ stories, Moonlight and The Shape of Water. GLAAD also applauded Best Picture nominations today for films Black Panther and BlacKkKlansman which featured predominantly Black casts and stories.

“Today’s list of Oscar nominees reflect a banner year for LGBTQ inclusion in film and a signal that the Academy and its members are rightfully prioritizing diverse storytelling at a time when audiences and critics alike are calling for more,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “The diversity across the full list of nominations should be celebrated and will no doubt lead to more inclusive, culture-changing films. The majority of the LGBTQ-inclusive films highlight the stories of LGBTQ people throughout history showing that LGBTQ people and issues have always existed and that now is the time to tell these powerful and moving stories.”

If Beale Street Could Talk received a nomination in Best Adapted Screenplay for Barry Jenkins, the film was adapted from the novel of the same name by legendary gay author and activist James Baldwin. Additional LGBTQ nominees included:

  • Writer Jeff Whitty, for co-writing Can You Ever Forgive Me? with Nicole Holofcener
  • The Live Action Short film Marguerite, which tells the LGBTQ-inclusive story of an aging woman and her nurse who develop a friendship that inspires the woman to unearth unacknowledged longing and thus help her make peace with her past.
  • Documentary filmmakers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, who were nominated for their Netflix Documentary Short, End Game.
  • Composer/Lyricist team Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman for Original Song for writing “The Place Where Lost Things Go” from Mary Poppins Returns.
  • Shaiman was also nominated for Original Score for Mary Poppins Returns.

Best Actor and Best Actress additionally included multiple nominations for LGBTQ characters - Rami Malek was nominated for his portrayal of queer music icon Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody, Melissa McCarthy as lesbian biographer Lee Israel in Can You Ever Forgive Me?, and Olivia Colman as Queen Anne in The Favourite.

Mahershala Ali is nominated in Best Supporting Actor for playing gay musician Don Shirley in Green Book. Also nominated in the category is Richard E. Grant who played gay character Jack Hock in Can You Ever Forgive Me? Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz are nominated in Best Supporting Actress for The Favourite.

GLAAD previously announced that nominees for the 30th Annual GLAAD Media Awards, which honor outstanding LGBTQ images in the media, will be unveiled on Friday, January 25 live from the Sundance Film Festival. Actress Mj Rodriguez (Pose) and actor Nico Santos (Crazy Rich Asians, NBC’s Superstore) will host the nominee announcement via a live-stream on GLAAD’s Facebook page hosted by AT&T.

GLAAD’s 2018 Studio Responsibility Index, which maps the quantity, quality, and diversity of LGBTQ people in films released by the seven largest motion picture studios and their subsidiaries during the 2017 calendar year, found an alarming drop in LGBTQ characters and representation. GLAAD found that of the 109 releases from major studios in 2017, only 14 (12.8%) of them included characters that are LGBTQ, a decrease from the previous year’s report (18.4%, 23 out of 125), and the lowest percentage of LGBTQ-inclusive major studio releases since GLAAD began tracking in 2012. Not one of the 109 releases included a transgender character. GLAAD’s 2019 Studio Responsibility Index is scheduled for release later this year.