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Number of Gay Characters on TV Declines

Date September 28, 2011
The Good Wife, Glee The number of gay characters on broadcast TV shows is down, according to a new report from GLAAD. And in a surprising turn, Fox has become the most LGBT-inclusive TV network, toppling ABC.

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance's "Where We Are on TV" report found that the overall number of LGBT series regulars on scripted TV is down to 2.9 percent. It was...

The Good Wife, Glee The number of gay characters on broadcast TV shows is down, according to a new report from GLAAD. And in a surprising turn, Fox has become the most LGBT-inclusive TV network, toppling ABC.

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance's "Where We Are on TV" report found that the overall number of LGBT series regulars on scripted TV is down to 2.9 percent. It was at 3.9 percent during the 2010-2011 season.

"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," Mike Thompson, acting president of GLAAD Acting, said in a statement. "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."

Fox, the home of 'Glee,' has 6.8 percent LGBT series regular characters. In 2007, GLAAD said the network had zero. Note that 'Glee' launched in 2009. Now out of 117 total series regular characters, 8 are LGBT.

ABC's percentage is down to 3.4 percent of characters being LGBT compared to 2010's 7.2 percent.

NBC continues to decline. Only 3 out of their 154 characters are LGBT.

The CW features one LGBT series regular characters out of 67.

CBS also only has one LGBT character out 134 total series regulars.

The number of scripted LGBT series regulars found on "mainstream" cable networks has also fallen to 29, down from 35 in 2010. However, the organization counted 25 recurring characters on cable.

The 2011 broadcast season features no transgender or African American gay characters.

"GLAAD continues to call for networks to not only include LGBT characters, but ensure that the images reflect the gender and ethnic diversity that makes up our community," Thompson said. "There are zero LGBT African American or transgender characters on broadcast network TV, but storylines like those of 'True Blood's' spirit-channeling fry cook Lafayette and 'Degrassi's' transgender teen Adam on cable demonstrate how more diverse representations make for popular, original, and compelling television."

Read more http://www.aoltv.com/2011/09/28/gay-tv-characters-decline/

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