More LGBTQ TV characters for 2019: GLAAD report
We’re getting better representation on the small screen thanks to more LGBTQ TV characters appearing this year.
This was the conclusion of GLAAD’s annual study of representation on TV, Where We Are On TV report.
LGBTQ TV characters at an all-time high
According to the GLAAD report, LGBTQ TV characters now make up 10.2 percent of series regulars on broadcast shows in the US.
This was an increase of 1.4 percent from last year’s record of 8.8 percent, or 90 out of 879 roles. This is the highest GLAAD has recorded since they began the annual survey.
What’s more, LGBTQ women are outnumbering their male counterparts, 53 percent to 47 percent, with shows like Batwoman and Pose.
There are also more characters that are bisexual, transgender, and those with HIV/AIDS.
There was also more racial diversity for LGBTQ characters in both broadcast and TV, with LGBTQ people of color outnumbering white LGBTQ people, 52 percent to 48 percent.
Likewise, this year’s report included asexual characters for the third year but only cited Aaron Paul’s Todd Chavez on Netflix’s Bojack Horseman.
Finding TV characters for better representation
Aside from series regulars, there were an additional 30 recurring LGBTQ characters on broadcast TV.
There’s also an expectation of an increase of LGBTQ characters on TV by next year with shows like The L Word reboot, the sitcom Twenties by Lena Waithe, and the comedic Work in Progress by gay comic Abby McEnany.
GLAAD’s report is a comprehensive forecast of LGBTQ characters in primetime scripted programming for the 2019-2020 TV season.
Last year, GLAAD had called on broadcast networks to ensure that 10 percent of the scripted series regulars are LGBTQ by 2020. For 2025, they urged for 20 percent of series regulars are LGBTQ.
In their press release, GLAAD said: “This is an important next step towards ensuring that our entertainment reflects the world in which it is created and the audience consuming it.”
Significance of LGBTQ and POC representation
In a Accelerating Acceptance study by GLAAD and Harris Poll, it was discovered that 20 percent of Americans aged 18-34 are LGBTQ.
What’s more, the General Social Survey from NORC at the University of Chicago noted that 23 percent of Black women in America 18-34 identify as bisexual.
Meanwhile, their GenForward survey reported that 1 in 5 Latinx Millennials are LGBTQ.
GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said: “At a time when the cultural climate is growing increasingly divisive, increased representation of LGBTQ stories and characters on television is especially critical to advance LGBTQ acceptance.”
“Shows like Pose, Schitt’s Creek, Batwoman, and Billions demonstrate that not only are LGBTQ stories and characters on TV becoming more diverse, but that viewers everywhere continue to respond with extreme positivity,” Ellis said.