When people think about some of the big film industries in the world, it’s nearly impossible to not think about Hollywood. There are of course massive film industries in Europe and Asia, but Hollywood is at the top of the league. That’s why it can be so disappointing when Hollywood decides to take a queer character and make them straight. Not only does it take away from the actual movie, but it doesn’t help the LGBTQ community at all. We’ve gathered some instances where characters have been straight-washed. Start scrolling and enjoy the list! Maybe you’ll find a movie or two to watch this week.
The Martian Child
Sometimes films can’t help but change the sexuality of characters. In the film The Martian Child which starred John Cusack, the main character was meant to be a gay man who adopted a child on his own. But because the people financing the film didn’t want that, the main character was changed into a straight man who had lost his wife. Unfortunately, the people holding the money also hold a lot of power
This has been a regular occurrence throughout film history. Only now are we starting to get away from this practice of film financers deciding what we do and do not get to see in films.
Interview With the Vampire
Anne Rice was one of the most well-known authors. In her novel, Interview with the Vampire, the characters of Lestat and Louis are hinted at as being lovers and in a romantic relationship. But in the film adaptations which stars Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise, the two characters are not a couple. We lose a lot when Hollywood decides to straight wash characters rather than keep them the way they were written.
The film is still good but knowing that these two characters were meant to be in a relationship makes you wonder just how good of a film it could have been.
This film was already touching and emotional. Who knows how good of a movie it could have been had the characters been left alone and made how they were supposed to be.
The Rules of Attraction
The Rules of Attraction is a wild film that is not for kids. All that aside, the main character is based on a character in the novel of the same name. But in the novel, the character has sex with both men and women. When the film was adapted for a movie in the early 2000s, the character was turned into a straight man. This means that once again, an LGBTQ character was erased.
To be fair, if you see The Rules of Attraction, the last thing you will be thinking about is if a character is gay or not. But it still sucks that this happened at all.
Whenever we see a film depiction of Hercules, he is always made out to be a very macho man, and he is that. But a part of him that often gets hidden in film depictions is the fact that he is also bisexual. It’s a shame that there hasn’t been a movie that has shown who Hercules truly was. It would be great to see a hero who is also bisexual.
Hercules is one of the most notable names in all of Greek mythology. We’re sure that a lot of people would be surprised to know that he was also bisexual.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Sometimes characters get written out because of the period that they were made in. In the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s, which is based on a novel of the same name, the narrator is a gay man who is based on the author of the novel, Truman Capote. Since Hollywood was not going to show a homosexual on their screens in the 60s, the narrator was turned into a straight character.
Truman Capote is one of the greatest American writers to ever live. It’s too bad that his art didn’t get the honest portrayal that it deserved. He was just too ahead of his time.
The Color Purple
The Color Purple is one of the greatest American films. It has won many accolades and is constantly in conversations about great films. But the novel, which was written by American author Alice Walker, had a lesbian storyline for the main character, Celie. These were taken out by director Steven Spielberg when it came time to make the movie. We’re sure the financers of the film played a role in this.
It's too bad that the film version of The Color Purple couldn’t have the lesbian storylines. But if you have a chance, read the book and watch the movie. You will enjoy both.
The Man Without a Face
It doesn’t seem right that a movie can be made while completely erasing everything that made it what it was in the written version. In the book The Man Without a Face, the main character is outright gay. He ends up developing feelings for someone younger than him. But in the movie version, which starred Mel Gibson, this part of the character's identity was completely erased. There was nothing about him being gay.
To change the entire subject matter of a book to make a movie sounds like a lot of work. We’re sure many people would have still respected the movie had it been kept the same.
The Lost Weekend
In 1945, there was just no way that Hollywood was going to let a movie about a man who drank to hide his guilt about being gay be put onto the big screen. This is the case for the famous film The Lost Weekend. In the novel written by Charles Jackson, the man character drinks to hide who he truly is. And in 1945, Hollywood hid who the character was as well.
A movie such as this one probably could have helped people who were going through similar things at the time. Producers and financiers seem only to care about dollars and nothing else.
The Thin Red Line
The Thin Red Line is about life in a world ravaged by WWII. The character of Jeffrey Fife is a man who would sometimes spend sleep with other men in the military. These types of things did happen in the military at the time, but when it came time to make the movie in 1998, they were wiped out. There wasn’t a single bit of Corporal Fife’s sexuality in the film.
How can you not depict something that is based on fact? That seems like it should be against some sort of film and movie-making type rules. Isn’t the point to tell the truth?
In the James Bond film Goldfinger, the character of Pussy Galore is part of the villain Goldfinger’s inner circle. She is a hard-nosed woman who initially is out to harm Bond. But in the book, she is the leader of a lesbian gang. This fact was of course erased and washed out when the movie was made in the 60s. There was no way that Bond was going to be outdone by a Lesbian.
We would pay good money to see James Bond get beat up by a gang of lesbians in a film. That would be hilarious. They should remake this one with that plot as the focus.
Lots of things get changed when comics are adapted into films, but one of the most egregious changes came to the X-Men character Mystique. Part of her power is that she can shapeshift. She can change into both men and women. And since she can do both, she can have sex with both men and women. But when the films were made, this important part of her was erased, meaning her bisexuality was erased.
Bisexuality is even rarer in films than being gay or lesbian. It would have been a good chance, even with a fictional character, for bisexuals to get some type of representation.
Riverdale is a show based on the famous Archie Comics. In the comics, it has been noted that one of the characters, Jughead, is asexual. This means that he does not have a sexual attraction to any gender. In the show, before Jughead comes to that conclusion, the directors made him have an awkward sexual encounter. Asexual people know who they are. They don’t need to have a clumsy encounter to prove their asexuality.
The showrunners received some well-deserved criticism for their handling of Jughead’s sexuality. This was a moment for a lot of people, fans included, to learn about asexuality. Representation really does matter.
In more bisexual erasure news, the DC comic book character of John Constantine makes it very clear that he is bisexual and has had relationships with both men and women in his life. So when the show hit television, it seemed like it would be a great time for bisexuals. No. They erased this part of him, and like so many shows before, turned him into a straight character only interested in women.
Most people in the LGBTQ community are probably used to their characters being erased and changed into something else, but that doesn’t make it any easier to deal with when it happens.
Ghost in the Shell
Even animated movies have a problem with making sure that queer characters get to be queer. In the animated film Ghost in The Shell, the character of Motoko makes it clear that she is bisexual. This is also shown when she has sex with women. But when the live-action version came out with Scarlett Johansson, it seemed like she would be bisexual as well. But as you can guess, that was not the case.
If they can’t even keep animated characters correct, how does anything else stand a chance? We can only hope that things continue to get better with queer characters as time goes on.
Fried Green Tomatoes
Whenever people refuse to see two women as a couple or lovers, they always make them out to be best friends. This was the case with Idgie and Ruth from Fried Green Tomatoes. In the novel, the two women have a sexual relationship. A majority of the entire novel is about the relationship between these two women. But in 1991 when the film was made, they decided to cut that part out.
This is just another example of completely changing a film from the source material. If we were the author or anyone to do with the book, we would be so angry.
Even movies about vampires can’t help but straightwash characters. In the book Blood Ties, Henry Fitzroy is a vampire who likes to have relationships with both men and women. But when the stories were adapted for television, this was done away with. Every relationship was with just women and no men. What a shame to wipe straightwash such a good character. Who knows what could have been had the character been left alone.
Vampires aren’t real. Is it necessary to change their sexuality? If they want to suck the blood of men and women and have sex with them as well, they should be able to.
So much of Greek mythology has gay overtones. Just like Hercules earlier in the list, Achilles is another Greek hero who has had a gay relationship. Achilles is a strong man. Nothing hurts him, and nothing scares him. But in the Iliad when he is with Patroclus, he becomes softer. Patroclus’ death is what sends Achilles on a rampage. But this story was nowhere to be found in the film version of his story.
Another boring switch that could have made a movie better had it been left as it was. There have been a lot of mythology movies over time, and a lot of them have been straightwashed.
Black Panther was a hit when it came out. Fans across the globe packed theaters to see it. But there were a lot of fans that were upset that one of the characters, Ayo, was not who she was in the comics. In the Black Panther comics, she is often depicted as being in a lesbian relationship. Fans were so upset by this that they even took it to Twitter.
Black Panther came out in 2018. That’s just 4 years ago. It’s hard to believe that straightwashing is still happening even with all the changes we have had in society recently.
The anti-hero Deadpool became a fan favorite when the film hit theaters with actor Ryan Reynolds playing the leading role. Many fans were disappointed when Deadpool, who is pansexual, was simply written as a straight character. Even Ryan Reynolds was fine with having a boyfriend in the film, but the directors decided against it. What a shame. The movie was good but sticking with the source material could have made it better.
Deadpool came out in 2016. It’s hard to believe that anyone thought audiences would have a problem with a character having a boyfriend back then. Let’s hope Hollywood continues to change.
The show Rise was based on a book by author Michael Sokolove. In the book, he writes of a man named Lou Volpe, who is a real-life person. He was a director who taught high school theater and was a closeted gay man. But in Rise, which was a retelling of his life, he was made out to be a straight man. This drew tons of controversy at the time, and rightfully so.
We hope Lou Volpe at least received some sort of apology. That would be so hurtful to see someone tell your life story, and then take out such a big part of it.
Here is another example of Hollywood getting hold of a real story and switching it up to make it comfortable for audiences. In the film Pride, miners are going on strike for better working conditions. In their fight, they are joined by gay and lesbians who support their effort. This is the basis of the story, but this was completely done away with in the 2014 film. Many people were unimpressed by this.
It would make so much sense to just keep stories as they are. It also seems like it would be easier. But we aren’t directors. Maybe it just looks easier from our point of view.
American films are notorious for taking a historical moment in time and erasing the people that were there. In the film Stonewall, which is based on the Stonewall riots, most of the real-life people that were there were depicted as background characters. This included lesbians, trans women, and many people of color. Well as you can imagine, this film was not received well by the public when it came out.
There are people who were part of the Stonewall Riots that were still living when this film came out. We can only imagine how it must have felt to see the trailer for this film.
The 1980 film Times Square is based on the diary entries of an actual teenage girl. The screenwriter bought the diary at a secondhand store and decided to make a film. While most of the contents of the diary retold a lesbian love story, it was taken out of the final cut of the film. The 80s were an interesting time when the world was changing, but they weren’t kind to LGBTQ+ citizens.
This film is nearly impossible to find, but we would love to see a version of it where nothing was removed. We’re sure that it would make for a very good film.
Welcome Home Roxy Carmichael
Welcome Home Roxy Carmichael was supposed to be a film about a young woman, played by Wynona Ryder, coming to grips with the fact that she was attracted to women. And while there are still small remnants of that left in the film, there were apparently much more before editing happened. At a screening of the film, audiences didn’t take too kindly to two women being in bed with one another.
Wynona Ryder is an American acting legend. It would be interesting to get her take on this film today. We’re sure she would probably support releasing the film in its full glory.
The film Switch is about a man who is reincarnated as a woman after he is murdered by some of his ex-girlfriends for being a jerk. He eventually finds a woman that he’s interested in, but that would mean lesbian scenes would happen. And for that reason, test audiences weren’t big fans of this film. They were fine with him being reincarnated into a woman, but they drew the line at lesbians.
The plot of this film is hard to follow, so we’re a little surprised that more people found a problem with the lesbian scenes than with the actual story itself!
L. A. Story
We’re starting to think that test audiences in the 80s and 90s were full of people who were terrified of anyone who wasn’t straight. In the 1991 film L.A. Story, starring funny man Steve Martin, there were two lesbian characters that were not well received by test audiences. Some reports even claimed that the two characters were downplayed and were just there for show. Those test audiences seem like they were harsh.
If we had been in those test audiences, you can bet that we would have spoken up in favor of the lesbian storyline. There is no way we would go against people being themselves.
A League of Their Own
Despite A League of Their Own being a cult classic film for many Lesbians, it wasn’t packaged or sold as a gay film when it initially came out. Even though many of the women on who the film was based were gay, their sexuality was left out in the film. It’s a shame, because not only were these women pioneers for lesbians, but they were also pioneers for all women.
If you haven’t seen this film, please check it out. There are so many iconic lines in it. It’s too bad they changed the story, but we’re still so happy that the film exists.
Now and Then
Then and Now stars Rosie O’Donnell and Christina Ricci. Those two names should be enough to make any film do well. But because of a lesbian character, some test audiences were not fans of the film. Their homophobia was loud and clear, and the studio that produced the film sided with them over the director. It sucks that money means more to producers than the art itself. That’s just the way it goes in Hollywood.
We’ve not seen this film, but something tells us that there was absolutely nothing wrong with whatever scene made the folks in the test audience get upset. We’re sure they overreacted.
Legally Blonde is one of the most quotable films ever. People absolutely adore this film. And at one time, there was a rumor that Elle, Reese Witherspoon’s character, and Vivian, Selma Blair’s character, were supposed to get together in the end. If the film had ended like that, we could only imagine how the audiences back in 2001 would have reacted to seeing that. There would have been some problems.
We would have loved that ending. Their friendship was so good in the film. It would have been sweet to see them get together and get on with their lives.
It seems like claims of Velma from Scooby-Doo being gay have been around forever. And in 2002, James Gunn, the director of Scooby-Doo, the live-action film, wanted to make Velma gay. But the studio stepped in and told him not to do it. When he attempted the same thing in 2004 when he made a sequel, he was met by the same response. We’ll get a lesbian Velma one of these days.
A lot of fans of Velma would probably be fine with her being gay. It just seems like Hollywood is the one who is scared of switching things up a little bit.
When it comes to the film Love Actually, you are either in the camp of people who adore it, or you are in the camp of people who cannot stand it. We’re curious as to how people’s opinions of the film would change if they knew that there was initially supposed to have been a lesbian couple in the film. The part was cut out. We’re sure we don’t need to tell you why.
A lesbian couple would have fit in perfectly with this film. It probably would have gained the film even more adoring fans than it already has! We can’t believe they left that out!
Whip It was a massive hit when it came out. Elliot Page and Drew Barrymore starred in the film at a time when they were both unstoppable in Hollywood. And while the film focuses on Roller Derby, which is a sport played, supported, and loved by many Lesbians, there wasn’t a lesbian storyline in the film itself. Elliot Page has even come out and said they had wished that the film had been queerer.
Hollywood and its homophobia strike again. The film is so fun to watch, but thinking about it now, it is a little strange that were no real lesbian storylines in it!
Saving Mr. Banks
If Disney is going to make a film, you can almost guarantee that some important parts of that film are going to be left out. That was the case with 2013’s, Saving Mr. Banks. Pamela Travers, the woman who wrote Marry Poppins, was made to be a lonely woman in the film. The film was loved by many, but Travers, who was bisexual, didn’t even like the original film made from her book.
You can’t take someone’s artwork and make it something else. That’s just wrong. You lose all the good parts of the work just to keep the crowds happy. We can’t understand that.
The 2016 all-female remake of Ghostbusters was a big hit. It had a lot of controversy surrounding it, mainly because of men who were upset about women being Ghostbusters. But there was also the case of Kate McKinnon’s character who was supposed to be a lesbian. Paul Feig, who directed the film, came out and said he wanted to do more with the character, but there was only so much the studio would allow.
We don’t even want to begin to imagine the type of backlash this film would have received if one of the characters had turned out to be gay. People would have lo