I’m noticing a disturbing trend in LGBT film and television, in particular lesbian film and TV. That trend is either implied or overt pedophilia in romantic character pairings.
I mentioned the movie Cracks, (which can be found on Netflix, depending on location) in a previous post. While the film is listed in the Gay/Lesbian genre of Netflix, I take great offence to the fact that the only lesbian subject matter comes in the form of a teacher basically molesting a schoolgirl. This, unfortunately seems to be a recurring theme. What I find the most startling is that these themes are simply being tossed into the gay/lesbian sub-genre and accepted within the community as such. Entertainment outlets and TV/film makers alike seem to be complicit in misrepresenting the LGBT community.
Yet another example is a BBC One (British) series called “True Love,” which features a new coupling for each episode. An episode featuring Skins’ Kaya Scodelario and Secret Diary of a Call Girl’s Billie Piper, again features a school teacher falling in love with a female student. Hemlock Grove, which is an original Netflix series, opens with a high school student who is engaging in an affair with her female teacher being killed. It would seem that these depictions of statutory rape and/or molestation are being totally ignored in favor of subject matter geared toward the LGBT community. More recently on the hit ABC Family drama series, Pretty Little Liars, the show’s lesbian character, Emily, played by Shay Mitchell, has entered into a relationship with an older woman. It’s important to mention the show’s heterosexual pairing of a similar nature. While I find these pairings inappropriate no matter the sexual orientation, it’s important to limit the scope.
I find the lesbian film, Bloomington the most disturbing, next to Cracks. In this film a student and teacher are yet again involved in a love affair. The difference here is that the student is enrolled in college and thus of legal age. The problem with this film is the choice in actress. Sarah Stouffer and the character she plays may technically be an adult, but she certainly does not read as such. In this “coming-of-age story” her role juxtapose that of the teachers, Allison McAtee seems unbalanced. While the film tries to portray the teacher as doting and caring to someone who is out of place and misunderstood, it comes across as motherly greatly due to the difference in their perceived age. What one should see as love and affection between two consenting adults with an age difference, instead can be discerned as a young girl being preyed upon by an older woman. (Gosh, even the cover art is creepy!)
I’m going to quote myself in saying that, “…I think when viewing LGBT content it’s important to remember where it’s coming from and who it’s intended for. I know these,” movies and television, “shows are simply trying to both offer a real perspective on a situation as well as entertain, but in the end it’s a matter of intended audience.[i]” As I also stated in that article, our presence in pop-culture is on the rise; I think it’s time we be a bit more discerning about what’s defined as LGBT content and utilize our voices when determining just what’s truly representative of our community.