A new GLAAD report shows LGBT presence on America’s TV channels are continuing to grow with an acceptance of gay people and famlies at an all time high.
America’s gay media advocacy group Gays and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation released its sixth annual Network Responsibility Index (NRI) report today (30 August), which maps the quantity, quality and diversity of images of LGBT people on television.
Mapping the quantity, quality and diversity of images of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people on television, the primetime programming of the five broadcast networks was evaluated as well as original primetime programming on 10 major cable networks.
The CW remains the top broadcast network with nearly a third of its primetime programming hours being LGBT-inclusive, such as the characters on hit show The Vampire Diaires.
The report found 69% of LGBT impressions on broadcast networks were made by gay men but 66% of these hours just featured white people, with the NRI calling for networks to highlight the great ethnic and cultural diversity of the community.
‘Americans expect to see their off-screen worlds represented onscreen and today more than ever includes LGBT people and families,’ said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick.
‘Storylines of families like Mitchell and Cameron on Modern Family and young people like Emily on Pretty Little Liars are not only growing acceptance of our community, but have found praise from viewers and critics alike at a time when visibility and acceptance of LGBT is it an all-time high.’
ABC improved (+4%) and Fox declined enough (-5%) for the two to swap places for second and third place in percentage of inclusive hours compared to last year. NBC remained in fourth place despite an increase of 4% in LGBT inclusive hours.
CBS was in last place with 8% LGB- inclusive hours of primetime programming, dropping 2% points from last year.
Cable networks Showtime (46%), ABC Family (34%), TNT (34%), and HBO (33%) all received ‘Good’ ratings for the quantity and quality of their LGBT-inclusive original programming.
MTV (23%), which received an ‘Excellent’ score two years ago, received an ‘Adequate’ score this year along with FX (34%), TLC (20%) and USA (17%).
For the fourth year in a row TBS (5%) received a ‘Failing’ rating, as did the History network (3%).
Transgender representation continues to be low on almost every network, with Transgender inclusive hours recorded on broadcast television went from 0.002% last year to 0.01% this year. The number also remained extremely low for the cable networks tracked at 0.005%.
One of the highlights in images this year was Cher’s transgender son Chaz Bono’s appearance on Dancing with the Stars.
‘His very candid appearance on the program taught many that transgender Americans deserve respect and acceptance,’ said Graddick.