Do you remember a time in television when gays and lesbians weren’t depicted at all in your favorite television series? In this day and age, that’s all changing. I remember being a kid and being curious about my homosexuality and sneaking out of bed late at night to watch Queer As Folk, the only gay characters I knew on any show. Now, you can’t turn on the TV without seeing gay dads, a gay storyline or a gay character of any kind on your favorite prime time program. Now, new numbers are showing us that LGBT characters have hit an all-time high.
This new report on this budding trend in TV is called “The New Mainstream.” The study found that 28 percent of all primetime TV viewing last season depicted a gay or lesbian character and or storyline. That’s quite an impressive percentage. Even more, one in four scripted series and one in five reality programs have been designated as LGBT inclusive. That’s coming a long way, wouldn’t you say? Despite the fact that gay characters and plot lines seem to be on the rise, GLAAD recently stated that the number of LGBT characters on scripted broadcast network TV had dipped slightly to 19 out of nearly 650 roles. But, why not celebrate the small victories? Check out more of the study’s findings below:
The study found that series depicting at least one regular or recurring LGBT character also garnered 22 percent of all television advertising dollars. That’s not all. TV viewers aged 12 to 34 spent 37 percent of their TV watching time checking out LGBT-inclusive shows. The advertising dollars on these shows were spent by the film industry and department stores. Looks like companies are jumping on board and realizing where their market lies. Matt O’Grady, Nielsen’s Executive Vice President For Audience Measurement stated:
“The inclusion of LGBT characters on TV more accurately portrays the diverse and multicultural society we live in by encompassing all segments of the population”
Are you conscious that the shows you watch are LGBT-inclusive or does that not matter to you? Sound off below.