Gaming is the MOST LGBTQ+ inclusive form of entertainment new study reveals

by MaddOx
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MrQ has analysed the most popular video games, films, TV series, and novels to find out how representative they are of the LGBTQ+ community.

Gaming along with other forms of entertainment is one of the most influential industries in the world, reaching billions across the planet. With this comes responsibility for the industry to ensure all communities and groups are being represented fairly.

From Star Wars, Super Mario, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and Breaking Bad, the average representation across the most popular entertainment platforms vary considerably.

The average % of LGBTQ+ characters in the most popular films, TV, novels and video games are: 

Media typeAverage representation
Film Franchises0.10%
Video games1.9%

Some interesting facts

  • The gaming industry is the most inclusive with an average inclusion of LGBTQ+ characters of 1.9%. Super Mario Galaxy takes the top spot as the most inclusive game with 17% of its characters identifying as LGBTQ+.
  • Tony Hawk’s Pro-Skater 2 (5%), Grand Theft Auto IV (4%) and Bioshock (2.75%) come in second, third and fourth for their overall inclusivity of the community. Red Dead Redemption 2, Half-life 2, Zelda along with 8 others feature in the top 15 games without LGBTQ+ inclusivity
  • X-Men is the most inclusive popular film franchise, whilst Rick & Morty was the most popular TV show that was LGBTQ+ inclusive
  • Amazon Prime beats Netflix with 8% of its media being LGBTQ+ inclusive, compared to Netflix at 6%
GTAV artwork

It’s disappointing that the representation of the LGBTQ+ community in entertainment is still so low, but sadly, it’s not surprising. Making people aware of just how limited our representation is in pop culture will hopefully demonstrate how much we still need our allies to join the continued fight for equal rights and to support more visibility of our community in mainstream media. I think it’s easy for straight people in liberal circles to think our representation is higher than 1.1% because it seems like there’s been a big increase over the past decade or two.

Maria Eilerse, founder of Be Conscious PR comments on the results
Media typeTitleNo. of LGBTQ+ characters% of total characters
Film FranchiseX-Men40.48%
TVRick and Morty132.67%
Video gamesSuper Mario Galaxy2416.67%
NovelsThe Girl With The Dragon Tattoo15%

The gaming sector is the most inclusive with 1.9% of its characters identifying as LGBTQ+, with Super Mario Galaxy taking the top spot with 17% of its characters sitting within the community. Research reveals that Super Mario’s Toads are agender. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 includes the character Leo Baker who identifies as trans and non-binary, with the game having an overall LGBTQ+ representation of 5%, followed by Grand Theft Auto IV with 4%. 

Film franchises we all know and love sit as the least inclusive with an average of 0.1% of its characters identifying as LGBTQ+. Whilst Marvel, Star Wars, James Bond, DC and X-Men, and Spider-Man all have a small handful of LGBTQ+ characters, the likes of Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, Fast and Furious and Jurassic Park have a 0% representation.

TV shows such including Rick and Morty, The Boys, Mr. Robot and The Walking Dead all lead the way for LGBTQ+ inclusivity with at least four or more characters identifiying themselves within this community. Rick and Morty have 13 LGBTQ+ characters out of its total 486 casts, including Father Bob who identifies as gay, and Rick, whose voice has been clarified by his voice actor as pansexual. The immensely popular Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul are the only two shows with 0% representation.

From Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows to Twilight, the highest selling novels are unfortunately the least inclusive, with the former having 0% LGBTQ+ inclusion, alongside The Da Vinci Code and Fifty Shades of Grey.

LGBTQ+ Students learning using technology

Amazon Prime has more LGBTQ+ representative content than Netflix

From Ru Paul’s Drag Race to Glee, the last decade has seen an incredible rise in iconic known and loved LGBTQ+ inclusive TV shows, documentaries and films that we can access easily using the world’s most popular streaming platforms Netflix and Amazon Prime. 

Amazon Prime takes the lead as the more inclusive streaming platform with 8% of its media being LGBTQ+ inclusive. This is compared to just 6% of Netflix’s media being LGBTQ+ inclusive. Whilst Amazon Prime is more inclusive, it’s key for both platforms to continue building up their inclusive content for viewers.

Netflix on a living room TV, with viewer sticking their feet up on a coffee table

The best-rated entertainment for LGBTQ+ inclusivity to watch out for this year

With It’s a Sin gaining huge popularity this year, the analysis also finds out the most popular and highest-rated films, shows, and games that are inclusive. In the film sector, the film to watch out for this year is Sentinelle, whilst 2020 saw The Boy Foretold by the Stars and iconic film/documentaries Rocketman and Bohemian Rhapsody the previous years. For TV, the best-rated inclusive shows have included It’s a SinThe Queen’s GambitThe Boys, and Killing Eve. And finally for video game fans, Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2Hades, and Disco Elysium: The Final Cut are the best rated inclusive games of the last three years.

The entertainment industry is one of the most influential in the world, as it delivers messages to billions of us across the globe whilst in the comfort of our own home each day. It is absolutely crucial that the industry drives for more LGBTQ+ representation in its characters to promote awareness and encourage inclusivity. 

Whilst it’s great to see the number of LGBTQ+ representative forms of entertainment rise in the last decade, there is more work to be done in making this the norm.’

Savvas Fellas, managing director of MrQ

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