GLAAD has announced that they will be grading film studios on their political donations.

Over the last few years, the influential LGBTQ+ organisation has conducted their annual Studio Responsibility Index.

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

On 10 March, GLAAD revealed that they would be adding new evaluations in response to the numerous anti-LGBTQ+ bills circulating across the US.

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

“Corporations need to be held accountable for funding politicians that harm LGBTQ people, including their own employees, and for inaction on legislation that they can help defeat.”

Ellis also highlighted the ongoing controversy surrounding Disney and Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill.

“The Walt Disney Company and other media companies need to take immediate action in Florida and other states. Entertainment and media companies cannot profit from our stories and stay silent on laws that discriminate against us.”

Under the adjusted report, the film studios will be evaluated in the following new sections. 

  • Donations to anti-LGBTQ+ elected officials, candidates for office, and anti-LGBTQ+ Political Action Committees from a film studio and parent company
  • Public advocacy efforts from a film studio or parent company around pro-LGBTQ+ or anti-LGBTQ+ legislation
  • LGBTQ-inclusive ads or other public communications, especially outside of Pride Month
  • Actions taken to support a studio’s LGBTQ+ inclusive titles internationally

GLAAD’s inclusive move came a couple of days before Disney’s CEO Bob Chapek announced the pausing of political donations in Florida.

“We are hard at work creating a new framework for our political giving that will ensure our advocacy better reflects our values. And today, we are pausing all political donations in the state of Florida pending this review,” he wrote in a company-wide memo. 

Chapek also apologised to Disney’s LGBTQ+ employees, who had recently called out the company for their censorship in Pixar films. 

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

“It is clear that this is not just an issue about a bill in Florida, but instead yet another challenge to basic human rights. You needed me to be a stronger ally in the fight for equal rights and I let you down. I am sorry.” 

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