There are more LGBTQ Characters On TV Than Ever Before
There are more LGBTQ Characters On TV Than Ever Before
Report shows LGBTQ characters at record high on TV yet diversity is lacking
11 November, 2017, 11:51
Another first for GLAAD was being able to include asexual characters in its report.
Only 43 percent of the regular characters counted on broadcast primetime television are women - LGBTQ or cis - a decrease of one percentage point from past year and "a severe underrepresentation of the USA population, which is estimated to be 51 percent women", according to the report. The majority of LGBTQ characters are men (55% of LGBTQ characters on broadcast), and cisgender.
"As LGBTQ acceptance in government and the broader American culture reverses course, television is a critical home for LGBTQ stories and representation matters more than ever", said Ellis.
The "Where We Are On Tv" report counted LGBTQ characters across broadcast, cable, and streaming platforms for the 2017-18 season, and while broader representation has improved, there's not much diversity within that progression.
There have never been so many LGBT characters on television.
Sean Hayes, left, and Debra Messing on NBC's "Will and Grace" revival, which contributed to this season's record number of LGBTQ characters on TV.
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The annual "Where We Are on TV" report from Glaad shows that out of the 901 regular characters appearing on broadcast television in the past year, 58 are either gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, non-binary or asexual. But despite that progress, the range of diversity of those characters remains limited.
Cable TV increased from 92 to 103 LGBT series regulars with Freeform coming in first at 25 and Showtime coming in second at 21.
More good news: The new GLAAD report has now started tracking non-binary and asexual characters. In streaming, there were 70 LGBTQ regular and recurring characters counted among Amazon, Hulu and Netflix originals, an increase of five total characters from a year ago. "Of the 70 LGBTQ characters counted on streaming originals, 77 percent were white". These characters still heavily skew toward women (75 women to 18 men). As for streaming services like Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu, GLAAD found an increase of six regular LGBTQ characters across all original series.
The study found that 58 out of 901 regular characters on broadcast TV identified as LGBTQ, up from 42 past year; on cable TV the number of regular LGBTQ characters increased from 92 to 103. Of those, nine are trans women, four are trans men, and four are non-binary.
Among regular and recurring LGBTQ characters on broadcast networks, lesbian representation rose to 24 percent on broadcast and 21 percent on cable, both representing a 7 percent increase after the 2016-17 season in which a number of lesbian or bisexual female characters were killed.
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