GLAAD just released the 16th Annual Where We Are on TV report, which measures the quantity of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people on primetime and cable TV (ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, CW) for the new 2011-2012 TV season. Overall, FOX is now the most inclusive broadcast television network based on these criteria, with 6.8% of regular characters being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. Back in 2007, the report found that Fox had zero LGBT series regulars on the network. They’ve make quite a change since then!
Overall the number of LGBT characters on television has gone down slightly, but the weight of their storylines has definitely become more prominent. “While the number of LGBT characters is down, some of the most popular shows with critics and viewers such as Glee, True Blood and The Good Wife weave storylines about gay and lesbian characters into the fabric of the show,” said GLAAD Acting President Mike Thompson. “Whether it’s the growing household of Mitchell and Cameron on Modern Family or the recent wedding of Callie and Arizona on Grey’s Anatomy, Americans expect to see the diversity of our country represented in their favorite programs and that includes gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people.” Even last night’s episode of Glee had Kurt struggling with being masculine enough for a role in a musical and had him attempting to tone down his gayness in his school president campaign.
- FOX leads other broadcast networks with 6.8% of scripted characters being LGBT
- LGBT characters make up 2.9% of network prime-time characters and 29 in the upcoming cable season
- On CBS, out of 125 series regular characters, only 1 will be LGBT. This is the second year in a row
- There is only one scripted transgender character on television – Adam a transgender teenager on TeenNick’s Degrassi
- Not one character on prime-time network TV will be a black LGBT character
- NBC’s Playboy Club features a gay man and a lesbian who are married in the 1960s and in the closet
- The programs True Blood and Shameless have the highest number of LGBT regular characters
- Teen networks ABC Family and Teen Nick both have four LGBT characters each