LGBTQ Community Faces An ‘Invisible’ Hollywood Summer Movie Season

”Moonlight,” and its story of a young black gay man struggling with his identity, may have won the coveted best picture Oscar this year, but it is still hard to find an LGBTQ character in a major Hollywood movie, according to a report on Thursday.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy group GLAAD said that only 23 of the 125 films released by the seven major Hollywood studios in 2016 includes LGBTQ characters. The “Q” stands for Questioning or Queer.

While U.S. television has made great strides in recent years with LGBT stories and characters, Hollywood movie studios are lagging way behind, the GLAAD report said.

Worse still, some are still featuring outdated humor, including the new “Baywatch” movie which has a scene where stars Zac Efron and Dwayne Johnson respond in horror to accidentally kissing one another, it noted.

“The time has come for the film industry to step up and show the full diversity of the world that movie audiences are living in today,” said GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis.

“Films like ‘Moonlight’ prove there is a huge opportunity to not only tell LGBTQ stories worthy of Oscar gold, but to open the hearts and minds of audiences here and around the world in places where these stories can be a lifeline to the people who need it most,” she added.

While GLAAD said that its findings were up one percentage point from 2015, when 22 films contained an LGBTQ character, 10 of the 2016 crop gave such characters less than one minute of screen time.

Hollywood studios also fall far behind other media in portraying transgender characters. GLAAD counted just one character (in “Zoolander 2”) in its 2016 report, and said that character existed solely as a punchline.

Despite some notable examples earlier this year, including a gay character in the new live action blockbuster “Beauty and the Beast,” GLAAD said “the forecast for the summer blockbuster season is a continuation of LGBTQ invisibility.”

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Richard Chang)

Russian Retail Store Displays Sign Reading ‘No Entry For Faggots’

(Please note this story contains language in para 3 that readers may find offensive)

May 26 A chain of Russian food stores run by a devoutly religious nationalist businessman has placed signs in its windows saying gay customers will be refused entry.

Russia decriminalised homosexuality in 1993, two years after the fall of the Soviet Union, and Russian law prohibits sexual discrimination. But prejudices still run deep and much of the gay community remains underground.

“No entry for faggots,” read a wooden plate at the entrance to one of German Sterligov’s shops in central Moscow.

Sterligov, 50, became a millionaire by opening a mercantile exchange shortly before the Soviet Union’s demise. Later in his career he turned devoutly religious and retreated with his family to rural Russia to sell organic farm produce.

“Our planet is full of filth and sick humans,” Sterligov told Reuters Television at a country fair outside Moscow. 

Sergei Karpukhin / Reuters

A young assistant in one of the Moscow stores said she shared the chain’s stance on gays “as a true Christian.”

“In front of our eyes is the historical experience of Sodom and Gomorrah when God burned these towns,” he said, referring to a passage from the Old Testament.

Addressing the farm fair through a loudspeaker, Sterligov praised U.S. President Donald Trump, who was swift to revoke his predecessor Barack Obama’s landmark guidance to public schools allowing transgender students to use the bathroom of their choice.

“We thank him. May God give him health,” Sterligov said.

Yulia Gorbunova, a Human Rights Watch researcher, said the retail chain’s disregard for the law sent a dangerous message in a country where homophobia remains prevalent.

“It seems like they are promoting homophobia in an already homophobic society and it only leads to rising tensions,” she told Reuters Television. “The state certainly has a responsibility to stop that and step in.”

Alyona, a young assistant in one of Sterligov’s Moscow stores, said she shared the chain’s stance on homosexuals “as a true Christian.”

“It’s our guarding talisman,” she said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied he discriminates against sexual minorities. (Reporting by Gennady Novik; Writing by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Richard Lough)

Burger King’s ‘Who Is The King?’ Vote Reportedly Angers Belgium Royal

Burger King appears to be eyeing more than just business expansion this summer.

The fast-food giant has launched a mock, online vote titled “Who Is The King?” that pits its fictional, royal brand name against Belgium King Philippe ahead of the company’s first Burger King restaurant in the Western Europe country.

“Two kings, one single crown, who shall reign?” it asks.

Unfortunately for the advertising campaign ― as playful as it may be ― it’s reportedly broiled more than just burgers.

Whoisthekingbe

Burger King is asking the public to vote on whether King Philippe is king or if they are king.

A spokesman for Belgium’s royal family told the BBC that they have reached out to Burger King to express their disapproval of the advertisement, which features a cartoon image of King Philippe.

“Since it is for commercial purposes, we would not have given our authorisation,” royal spokesman Pierre Emmanuel de Bauw told the British news network.

As of Sunday, the online election appears to remain underway. Participants are encouraged to select a king, though measures are in place to sway users to select Burger King.

Bryn Lennon – Velo/Getty Images and REUTERS/Danny Gys/Pool

The fictional Burger King mascot and King Philippe of Belgium are in a race to see who is the king.

Votes can be cast until June 19, according to the website.

A Burger King spokesperson, reached by news agency EFE, said they have not received any communication from the royal family.

A request for comment from Burger King by HuffPost was not immediately returned on Sunday.

Burger King’s ‘Who Is The King?’ Vote Reportedly Angers Belgian Royal

Burger King appears to be eyeing more than just business expansion this summer.

The fast-food giant has launched a mock, online vote titled “Who Is The King?” that pits its fictional, royal brand name against Belgium’s King Philippe ahead of the company’s first Burger King restaurant in the Western Europe country.

“Two kings, one single crown, who shall reign?” it asks.

Unfortunately for the advertising campaign ― as playful as it may be ― it’s reportedly broiled more than just burgers.

A spokesman for Belgium’s royal family told the BBC that they have reached out to Burger King to express their disapproval of the advertisement, which features a cartoon image of King Philippe.

“Since it is for commercial purposes, we would not have given our authorisation,” royal spokesman Pierre Emmanuel de Bauw told the British news network.

As of Sunday, the online election appears to remain underway. Participants are encouraged to select a king, though measures are in place to sway users to select Burger King.

Votes can be cast until June 19, according to the website.

A Burger King spokesperson, reached by news agency EFE, said they have not received any communication from the royal family.

A request for comment from Burger King by HuffPost was not immediately returned on Sunday.

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Orlando police to be given terrorism training following Pulse attack

Police in Orlando have been recommended to carry out terrorism training following the attack on the Pulse nightclub.

A review of the Orlando Police Department’s response to the mass shooting at a nightclub last year found that police training and protocol may need to be altered.

The review comes after a gunman opened fired in a gay nightclub killing 49 innocent people and wounding 53 others.

Omar Mateen, who committed the most deadly mass shooting in recent US history, was shot dead by police three hours after the attack.

The review found that more patrol officers should be trained in dealing with terrorist situations to support specialist trained officers.

The paper conducted the Police Foundation and published in the CTC Sentinel, found that patrol officers are often the first to get to the scene.

“Routine patrol workplaces officers in neighbourhoods where terrorists hide, plan, and attack, giving them the opportunity to gather critical intelligence as well as to identify potential threats,” the paper states.

As well as a higher level of training for regular officers, the paper stressed that police did follow protocol.

“It should be stressed, however, that the police responding to the attack followed protocols and best practice for hostage situations,” the paper stated.

One the final review by the foundation is finished then the Orlando Police Department have pledged to adjust policies and procedures where necessary.

However, the department said that they adhere to constant updates anyway.

A separate review is being carried out to analyse the response to the Orlando attack.

It was recently announced that the US government would provide $8.5 million in grief counselling funding for survivors of the massacre.

The grant from the Department of Justice will also reimburse the family assistance centre which was set up just after the shooting.

The funding decision came less than two weeks after Trump visited Orlando without mentioning or paying tribute to the Pulse victims.