Founded in 2014 by Robert Simonds and Bill McGlashan, STX Entertainment produces, finances, markets and distributes mid-budget films of all genres, as well as TV, live events, and VR. Known for wide-release original films with famous stars attached, some notable STX films of the past few years include The Gift (2015), Edge of Seventeen (2016), and Molly’s Game (2018). The studio has not released many LGBTQ-inclusive movies since its founding, with the exception of 2016’s Bad Moms, which included a bisexual character in the ensemble. Although one of STX’s most financially successful films, Bad Moms was somewhat questionable, falling into certain tropes and stereotypes about bisexual characters.
Widest Theatrical Release: 3525 theaters
Vito Russo Test: Fail
Trace Lysette, an actress and advocate who is also transgender, plays Tracey, one of the dancers at the strip club where the film largely takes place. The Tracey character is one of several fringe ensemble members, and the character does not have a very developed backstory. Because the film does not establish Tracey as a transgender character, GLAAD did not count her in its tally.
Widest Theatrical Release: 3568 theaters
Vito Russo Test: Fail
This film, co-distributed by STX and based on a true story, follows the friendship formed between Philip, a quadriplegic billionaire and Dell, who takes a job as his life auxiliary caretaker in order to satisfy the terms of his parole. There are several gay panic jokes in the movie including an extended bit about how uncomfortable Dell is with the more invasive aspects of taking care of Philip; Dell balks at having to insert a catheter, he is disgusted when Philip gets an erection, and he is uncomfortable about saying the word “penis” when just discussing Philip’s care. The film attempts to depict this character’s homophobia as something funny and relatable to audiences, as opposed to the outdated so-called “comedy” that it is.
Relatively new as a film studio, STX often produces mid-budget films in all genres. This level of investment has paid off for recent successful major studio LGBTQ-inclusive films like Love, Simon and Blockers – STX should evaluate its slate with these examples in mind. In spring 2020, STX announced a plan to merge with the Indian studio, Eros International, and to produce up to 40 films a year. For STX, this would be a perfect time to prioritize telling LGBTQ-inclusive stories and featuring leading queer and trans characters in its expanded slate.