ENTERTAINMENT
23/01/2019 11:59 AM IST

The Race For The Best Picture Oscar Is The Most LGBTQ Inclusive Ever

“The diversity across the full list of nominations should be celebrated,” a leader in the LGBTQ community said.

While the 2019 Oscar nominations announced on Tuesday may have yielded few surprises, the honored films and performers collectively set a new LGBTQ precedent.

More than half of the eight movies nominated for Best Picture ― “A Star is Born,” “Green Book, “The Favourite,” “Vice” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” ― told stories that included LGBTQ-inclusive elements. According to GLAAD, this marks the largest number of LGBTQ-inclusive films to ever be nominated for Best Picture in one year. 

GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis applauded the news in a statement and on social media, saying the nominations represented “a banner year for LGBTQ inclusion in film.” She called it a sign that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is “rightfully prioritizing diverse storytelling at a time when audiences and critics alike are calling for more.” 

“The diversity across the full list of nominations should be celebrated and will no doubt lead to more inclusive, culture-changing films,” she continued. “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.”

Yorgos Lanthimos’ “The Favourite,” which depicted a royal, same-sex love triangle, received a total of 10 nominations, tying with Alfonso Cuarón’s “Roma” as the year’s most-nominated film. The film’s star, Olivia Colman, was nominated for Best Actress, while Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz each received Best Supporting Actress nods. 

Similarly, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” scored Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor nominations for Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant, both of whom portrayed real-life queer characters. The film’s screenwriter Jeff Whitty ― who identifies as gay ― was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay. 

Though “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Green Book” have stirred controversy and been deemed problematic by many for their portrayal of LGBTQ and race issues, stars Rami Malek and Mahershala Ali received Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor nominations, respectively. 

“Marguerite,” which tells an LBGTQ-inclusive story, is up for Best Live Action Short Film. And LBGTQ nominees include composers Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, competing for Best Original Song for “The Place Where Lost Things Go” from “Mary Poppins Returns.” 

While the Oscar nominations may mark an important step, Hollywood still falls short when it comes to producing queer-inclusive works. 

GLAAD’s 2018 Studio Responsibility Index, released last month, found that just 12.8 percent of all films released by major Hollywood studios in 2017 featured LGBTQ characters, the lowest percentage since 2012.