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tanyainmizzou
GLAAD TV reports find no 'excellent' networks
October 13, 2013 at 10:27 PM


I watch shows with gay characters.  Please don't make this some rant on what a bigot I am.  So why should tv be judged on the percentage of gay characters on a network?


Why should all shows have gay characters when most people don't have to interact with multiple homosexual people everyday?

This is not a rant about gay people, so don't even go there.   But why should so many shows have gay characters if the population is so small in America?

Should we have more Indians or Armenians or Aussies?


On Friday GLAAD released two of its reports, the seventh annual Network Responsibility Index and the 18th annual Where We Are on TV report, and none of the networks received an excellent rating for having diverse LGBT characters and stories.

ABC, ABC Family, CW, FOX, MTV, NBC and Showtime were rated as "good"; CBS, FX, HBO, TLC, TNT and USA were "adequate"; and History and TBS received "failing" marks.

The ratings in the index were based on LGBT-inclusive content between June 2012 and May 2013, while Where We Are on TV relied on a character count and analysis of scripted characters in the upcoming 2013-2014 season. According to the data, the percentage of primetime broadcast scripted LGBT series regulars dropped to 3.3% from a record high of 4.4% last season. There was diversity, however. The report showed that there will be an equal number of women and men among LGBT characters during the 2013-2014 broadcast season, which means the storylines are moving beyond just featuring white gay males.

"Last season was a stellar one when it comes to the sheer number of gay, lesbian and bisexual representations on television, though diversity within those storylines showed room for improvement," said a statement from GLAAD's Wilson Cruz. "Though the number of LGBT characters dropped this season, shows like 'The Fosters,' with an interracial female couple raising a family, and characters like Unique on 'Glee' have not only moved the conversation about LGBT people forward, but are also a hit with audiences."

Some of the other findings include:

  • On cable, ABC Family was the most inclusive network GLAAD tracked last year with 50% of its original programming including LGBT impressions or storylines. It was followed by FX at 40%. History received a failing grade with no LGBT images on any of its shows last season.
  • ABC and FOX are the only networks to show increases this year and have the highest percentage of LGBT characters at 5.4% each. The CW is in third place at 3%. CBS is no longer last with 1.9% of its regular characters being LGBT, while NBC dropped from last year to 1%.
  • Of the 46 LGBT regular and recurring characters on broadcast networks, half are women and 28% are people of color. While last year there weren't any regular transgender characters on broadcast television, there will be one this season with the character of Unique on "Glee."
  • On cable, GLAAD counted 42 regular LGBT characters, up from 35 last season. An additional 24 recurring characters were counted. HBO will have the most characters with a total of 11, followed by Showtime with eight characters. Of those LGBT characters, 39% are women and 29% are people of color. Only one transgender character, Adam on "Degrassi," was counted, though he no longer appears on the program.
  • Of the 796 overall regular characters on broadcast primetime, the percentage of female characters has declined somewhat to 43%. People of color will once again make up 23% of all regular characters, while just 1% will be depicted as people with disabilities.

"Our television images not only reach American audiences, but countless others around the world," Cruz said. "It is time for the television networks to make new and groundbreaking LGBT stories a priority once again."

Replies

  • DestinyHLewis
    October 13, 2013 at 10:40 PM

    One show In particular I actually like called The New Normal, got nixed. These ratings don't tell a whole lot about the ratings of the shows where these people are represented. Networks are there to promote whatever show is popular. Making $$ is their motivation, always has been, always will be. If there isn't a large interest in the market for these types of shows, they aren't going to put them on. That's just the way it goes. I don't see an issue with it. Obviously the networks are trying, Modern family is hugely popular.  People watch what they identify with and is entertaining. I don't think the issue is because they aren't being represented, I think the issue is that there isn't a majority interest in shows that focus solely on LGBT plots. I've heard the same argument about romantic roles for Asian men here in the US before. 

  • terpmama
    October 13, 2013 at 10:42 PM

    It is a rating for people who do care.... They are not condemning the networks, more just advertising to like minded folks. It's like if a restaraunts chain was being talked about in your social circle because they were super child/family friendly, or for others if a playground was wheelchair accessible... It's a way for that group (people who want to see gay portrayals) to share which networks are likely to have it.  

  • TranquilMind
    October 13, 2013 at 10:42 PM

     I saw that report in the paper and thought it was laughable.  Who the heck cares what precise percentage there are of any recognizable sort of character? 

    Either a show is good and interesting, or it is not. 

  • tanyainmizzou
    October 13, 2013 at 10:49 PM

    I think saying a network isn't great because 50% of the characters or storylines are not GLAAD friendly is just crap.


    Much like I think every Mexican restaurant sucks here.

    What I am trying to understand is why 40% of shows or episodes isn't enough.

    Quoting terpmama:

    It is a rating for people who do care.... They are not condemning the networks, more just advertising to like minded folks. It's like if a restaraunts chain was being talked about in your social circle because they were super child/family friendly, or for others if a playground was wheelchair accessible... It's a way for that group (people who want to see gay portrayals) to share which networks are likely to have it.  


  • terpmama
    October 13, 2013 at 10:59 PM


    I'm guessing it's based off a "if we ran the network" point of view... Again I don't think its target audience is necessarily mainstream America, but rather glbt community.... If it were a different group (perhaps a vet group, or disabled group or ethnic group) speaking to members of that group, it would make sense. For example I imagine that if it were an AA group, that BET would probably get a high rating. 

    Quoting tanyainmizzou:

    I think saying a network isn't great because 50% of the characters or storylines are not GLAAD friendly is just crap.


    Much like I think every Mexican restaurant sucks here.

    What I am trying to understand is why 40% of shows or episodes isn't enough.

    Quoting terpmama:

    It is a rating for people who do care.... They are not condemning the networks, more just advertising to like minded folks. It's like if a restaraunts chain was being talked about in your social circle because they were super child/family friendly, or for others if a playground was wheelchair accessible... It's a way for that group (people who want to see gay portrayals) to share which networks are likely to have it.  




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