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GLAAD celebrates Oscar nominations for LGBTQ-inclusive films

GLAAD celebrates Oscar nominations for LGBTQ-inclusive films
Rami Malek as Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in "Bohemian Rhapsody." (Alex Bailey / 20th Century Fox/Associated Press)

GLAAD is celebrating a “banner year for LGBTQ inclusion” with this year’s crop of Oscar nominees, which were announced early Tuesday morning. The advocacy group celebrated a fine showing in the best picture field that included several films boasting narratives about real-life LGBTQ individuals.

Five of the eight films nominated for the top prize are LGBTQ-inclusive, the highest number of such films that have ever been nominated for best picture in a single year, the media watchdog organization said.

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Those films — including “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “The Favourite” and “Green Book” — told the stories of Queen rocker Freddie Mercury, Britain’s Queen Anne and musician Don Shirley, respectively.

Additionally, GLAAD congratulated Adam McKay’s Dick Cheney biopic “Vice” and longtime gay-rights champion Lady Gaga. Gaga earned a lead-actress nomination for her role in Bradley Cooper’s remake of “A Star Is Born,” which was also nominated in the best picture category.

“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 in a statement to The Times.

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

The nominations arrived on the same day that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled for the Trump administration’s ban on transgender troops in the military, a decision GLAAD warned sets “a dangerous precedent.”

It should be noted that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which votes for the Oscars, has awarded its top prize to queer-inclusive films over the last two years (“The Shape of Water” and “Moonlight”). And, after years of #OscarsSoWhite criticism, a number of this year’s nominated films — “Black Panther,” “BlacKkKlansman,” “If Beale Street Could Talk” and “Roma” — promote narratives about black excellence and people of color in front of and behind the camera.

GLAAD, which studies inclusivity in Hollywood, was also vocal during the fallout surrounding this year’s short-lived Oscars host Kevin Hart, who stepped away from the upcoming ceremony after old homophobic tweets and jokes resurfaced.

Ellis said GLAAD hoped Hart would use the backlash as a “teachable moment,” then doubled down on its directive after the comedian appeared on Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show to talk about the imbroglio.

“From when this news first broke, GLAAD said Kevin Hart should not step down from the Oscars, he should step up and send an unequivocal message of acceptance to LGBTQ youth that matches the force and impact of his initial anti-LGBTQ remarks,” Ellis said at the time.

The Feb. 24 ceremony currently remains without a host.

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