GLAAD’s sixth annual Network Responsibility Index, which “maps the quantity, quality and diversity of images of LGBT people on primetime broadcast and cable TV,” finds the “quality” and “quantity” all right enough but the “diversity” leaves a bit to be desired.
According to the report, 69% of LGBT impressions on broadcast networks were made by gay men and 66% were made by white people. While transgender people are barely represented on broadcast networks — only a .01% impression — they are virtually nonexistent on cable with a measly .005%
The number of LGBT characters on broadcast TV dipped slightly, though The CW and CBS retain their positions at the top and bottom of the list, respectively. The CW received a “Good” rating with 29% of its primetime programming being LGBT inclusive, a drop from 33% last year. The CW also had the most racial diversity among LGBT characters with 62% of impressions made by people of color. CBS on the other hand went from an “Adequate” score to a “Failing” — its LGBT impressions dropped from 10% last season to 8% this season.
On the cable front, Showtime clocked the most LGBT impressions with 46%, followed by ABC Family — talk about “family viewing time” — and TNT at 34% and HBO at 33%. MTV (23%) went from an “Excellent” score two years ago to an “Adequate” this time around, while both TBS (5%) and The History Channel (3%) received “Failing” scores.
“Americans expect to see their off-screen worlds represented onscreen and today more than ever that includes LGBT people and families,” said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick in a statement. “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 people is at an all-time high.
“Including an ethnically diverse cast of characters will not only be a more accurate reflection of the LGBT community but will also give programs the opportunity to build authentic and complex storylines.””
You can read the full report here.