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GLAAD ‘Where We Are on TV’ report: “Empire” “OITNB” and “The Fosters” hailed as LGBT inclusive

Geez, I can remember when the only gay people on TV were Jody (Billy Crystal) on Soap and Alice on The Brady Bunch.

Wait? Alice wasn’t gay? Oh yeah, Sam the butcher was her ‘boyfriend.’


So it’s terrific how much LGBT representation there is today – in comparison – on the broadcast networks. And thank God for cable and streaming where there are even more portrayals.

But there is still quite a ways to go in order to achieve full representation and quality representation.

Earlier today, GLAAD released its annual Where We Are on TV report which details LGBT representation on TV right now. (Click HERE to read full report)

Among the report’s findings:

Of the 881 regular characters expected to appear on broadcast primetime scripted programming in the coming year, 35 (4%) were identified as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. There were an additional 35 recurring LGB characters. The highest percentage of LGBT characters GLAAD has ever counted on primetime scripted broadcast programming was 4.4% in the 2012-13 season.

The number of regular LGBT characters counted on cable increased from 64 to 84, while recurring characters increased from 41 to 58. For the first time, GLAAD counted LGBT characters on original series that premiered on Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix. GLAAD found 43 series regulars and 16 recurring LGBT characters across 23 series.

Among the programs singled out:

FOX’s  Empire – In the show’s second season, gay musician Jamal Lyon will betaking on more of a business role as the head of the family music label, Empire. Tianna, a bisexual artist signed to the label, was upped to a series regular this year. Several other gay, lesbian, and bisexual characters will recur.

ABC Family’s The Fosters – The show that follows a lesbian coupleraising their biological, foster, and adopted children, is ABC Family’s most inclusive show with seven LGBT characters, including trans teen Cole (played by trans actor Tom Phelan) and new couple Jude and Connor.

AMC’s The Walking Dead - The show which added out couple Aaron and Eric last season and continues to include lesbian zombie hunter Tara.  The new season will also introduce Paul “Jesus” Monroe, a gay character from the comic series that provides the show’s source material.

Netflix’s Orange is The New Black - OITNB boasts more LGBT regular and recurring characters than any other scripted program tracked in this report. The series  follows a diverse group of inmates at a women’s prison, including trans prisoner Sophia Burset, played by trans actress and advocate Laverne Cox.

Amazon’s Transparent - The show thst tells the story of Maura, a trans woman coming out to her family late in life, also includes several other lesbian, bisexual, and transgender characters. Show creator Jill Soloway also paid special attention to ensuring diversity both in front of and behind the camera by employing trans writers, crew members, and several trans actors who appear in recurring roles.



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