GLAAD Study Finds LGBT Representation On TV Falls For First Time In 5 Years

Tue. January 19, 2021 8:21 AM by Carlos Santoscoy

In its annual “Where We Are on TV” report released Thursday, GLAAD found LGBT representation has fallen for the first time in five years.

GLAAD has been tracking LGBT representation in television for 25 years. Thursday's “Where We Are on TV” is the group's sixteenth report.

“This year’s Where We Are On TV study found that of the 773 series regular characters scheduled to appear on broadcast scripted primetime television this season, 70 (9.1 percent) are LGBTQ,” GLAAD said in reporting its findings. “This is a decrease from the previous year’s record high percentage of 10.2 percent, and the first season to mark a decrease in this percentage since it last fell in the 2013-14 report.”

The group said that this decrease in representation was expected due to the coronavirus pandemic's effect on Hollywood.

GLAAD also found that nearly one in every five LGBT characters appears on a series produced by Greg Berlanti, Lena Waithe, Ryan Murphy, and Shonda Rhimes, a 3 percent increase over last year (14% to 17%). Berlanti, Murphy, and Waithe are openly LGBT.

LGBT series regulars on scripted primetime cable series dropped from 121 to 81 characters. Recurring LGBT characters also fell from 94 last year to 37. However, over half of these characters are people of color for the first time since GLAAD has put out its report.

Representation also fell on original content produced by streaming services Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix. Regular and recurring LGBT characters fell from 153 last year to 141 in the 2020-2021 television season. Twenty-eight percent of LGBT characters on the streaming platforms are bisexual, a 2 percent increase from last year. There are 29 regular and recurring transgender characters and one lesbian asexual character, the report found.

The findings were presented during a virtual event on Thursday. Included in the panel were GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis, writer and actor Ryan O'Connell (Netflix's Special), actor Harvey Guillen (FX's What We Do In The Shadows), actor Dyllon Burnside (FX's Pose), actress Alexandra Billings (ABC's The Conners). Report author and researcher Megan Townsend presented the report's findings.

The full report can be found here.

Article provided in partnership with On Top Magazine

 

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