GLAAD TV report: Highest percentage of LGBT characters on broadcast television – ever
Remember when all we had was Jody on Soap?
Now we have Cam and Mitch on Modern Family, Kurt, Blaine, Santana and Brittany on Glee, Arizona and Callie on Grey’s Anatomy, Bryan and David on The New Normal, Louis and Wyatt on Partners, Max on Happy Endings, Mr. Wolfe on Suburgatory, and Teddy on 90210, among many others.
In fact, there are now a record number of gay characters on broadcast television, according to a report released this week by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).
At the launch of the 2012-2013 television season, GLAAD estimates that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) scripted characters represent 4.4% of all scripted series regular characters on the five broadcast networks: ABC, CBS, The CW, Fox, and NBC. This is an increase from last year, with 31 series regular characters identified as LGBT. Additionally GLAAD counted 19 recurring characters on primetime broadcast scripted series.
The number of scripted LGBT series regulars found on mainstream cable is up to 35 in the upcoming season. GLAAD counted 26 additional recurring characters on cable.
“This year’s increase of LGBT characters on television reflects a cultural change in the way gay and lesbian people are seen in our society,” said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. “More and more Americans have come to accept their LGBT family members, friends, coworkers, and peers, and as audiences tune into their favorite programs, they expect to see the same diversity of people they encounter in their daily lives.”
ABC has the highest amount with 5.2% (10 out of 194) of their regular characters identifying as LGBT.
After leading last year, Fox is in second with six LGBT characters out of 118 total series regulars (5.1%). The CW will feature four regular LGBT characters out of 81 total (4.9%), while NBC will feature seven regular LGBT characters out of 166 (4.2%).
CBS also improved and will feature four LGBT characters out of 142 series regulars (2.8%), up from 0.7% last year. This improvement and the addition of a gay lead character demonstrate an authentic and conscious effort by CBS to improve its diversity, GLAAD says.
On mainstream cable networks, the number of announced LGBT series regular characters has also increased to 35, and will also feature 26 recurring characters for a total of 61 LGBT characters.
This year Showtime features the greatest number of LGBT characters on cable with 12; seven of which are series regulars.
Also making a significant contributions to the count are HBO (9 characters), FX (8), Adult Swim (5) and ABC Family, MTV, Syfy, and TeenNick (with 4 characters each).
Once again, this year True Blood is the most inclusive show on cable television with six gay, lesbian or bisexual characters.
“It is vital for networks to weave complex and diverse storylines of LGBT people in the different programs they air,” Graddick added. “When young LGBT people see loving couples like Callie and Arizona on Grey’s Anatomy or Degrassi‘s confident transgender high school student Adam Torres, they find characters they can look up to and slowly start building the courage to live authentically.”
LINK to report: www.glaad.org/whereweareontv12