LOS ANGELES (AP) — The number of gay and bisexual characters on primetime network TV is up slightly this season to 18 out of a total of 600 roles, according to the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. The increase over 2008 fell well short of the more than twofold percentage jump in the ’08 […]
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The number of gay and bisexual characters on primetime network TV is up slightly this season to 18 out of a total of 600 roles, according to the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.
The increase over 2008 fell well short of the more than twofold percentage jump in the ’08 season compared to 2007, according to the group.
And on mainstream cable channels the number of such characters continued to drop, slipping from a total of 32 in 2008 to 25 this year. The 2007 tally was 40.
Two channels that program for gay viewers, here! and Logo, add 27 gay characters to the cable total, GLAAD said.
The 14th annual “Where We Are on TV” report released Wednesday found that 3 percent of actors appearing regularly on network drama and comedy series in the 2009-10 season will portray gay, lesbian or bisexual characters.
That’s up from 2.6 percent in the 2008-09 season. In 2007-08, it was 1.1 percent.
Only four of the 18 characters this season are nonwhite, GLAAD found, and there is only one lesbian, on ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy.”
Using information provided by ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and CW, the group reviewed 79 scripted series announced to air this season.
The steady increase in gay characters is promising, as are story lines that are becoming “more reflective of current issues affecting our lives,” GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios said in a statement.
Fair, accurate images of gay couples marrying, raising families and contributing to their communities help fellow Americans “come to accept and better understand” their gay family members and neighbors, he said.
Examples cited by GLAAD include a gay couple marrying on ABC’s “Brothers & Sisters” and a gay police officer on NBC’s “Southland” — a rare character for a crime drama.
ABC led the networks in gay representation, with 5 percent or eight characters out of 160, followed by Fox with four out of 104 (4 percent).
CBS lacked a single gay or bisexual part, the report said. The network, which has gay cast members on its reality series and daytime shows, declined comment.
Speaking to TV critics this summer, CBS programming chief Nina Tassler said the network has a commitment to diversity, including gay representation, and intended to improve.