- Special Features
Blogs & Columns
- Fun & Games
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation has published its 18th annual Where We Are On TV study of LGBT characters on television. The group did praise ABC, Fox and ABC Family as the most inclusive networks, but still found that the number of LGBT characters on broadcast TV dropped from last year’s record high.
“Last season was a stellar one when it comes to the sheer number of gay, lesbian and bisexual representations on television, though diversity within those storylines showed room for improvement,” GLAAD's Wilson Cruz said. “Though the number of LGBT characters dropped this season, shows like The Fosters, with an interracial female couple raising a family, and characters like Unique on Glee have not only moved the conversation about LGBT people forward, but are also a hit with audiences.”
Cruz called for the networks to again focus on bringing LGBT characters back, noting that American shows are seen around the world.
GLAAD also released the stats from its Network Responsibility Index (NRI) study, which looks at the previous season. That study called Fox the most inclusive network, with 42 percent of its primetime hours with LGBT images. That equals a “Good” rating. ABC (33 percent), NBC and The CW also received a “Good” rating and none of the networks received “Excellent” ratings.
The cable networks that received “Good” ratings are MTV, Showtime and ABC Family. “Adequate” ratings went to CBS, HBO, FX, TLC, TNT and USA, while History and TBS received “Failing.”
Back to the Where We Are On TV, GLAAD said that only 26 of the scripted regular series characters on TV this season are LGBT. Fox and ABC’s numbers did grow to 5.4 percent each, but NBC dropped to 1 percent. CBS has just 1.9 percent and The CW is at 3 percent.
For cable, there are 42 regular LGBT characters, up from 35.