More LGBTQ char­ac­ters on TV

Toronto Star - - ENTERTAINMENT -

TV se­ries are in­clud­ing more LGBTQ char­ac­ters and adding gen­der-non­con­form­ing ones, but there’s a need for richer, more com­plex sto­ries about them, ac­cord­ing to the me­dia ad­vo­cacy group GLAAD.

LGBTQ de­pic­tions in­creased in the cur­rent sea­son across broad­cast, ca­ble and stream­ing plat­forms, the group’s an­nual Where We Are on TV study re­leased Thurs­day found.

Shows con­tribut­ing to the change in­clude NBC’s re­boot of Will & Grace and The Deuce on HBO.

“While we’re pleased to see num­bers on the rise, con­sid­er­a­tion of how LGBTQ char­ac­ters are wo­ven into sto­ry­lines and whose sto­ries are mak­ing it to screen is cru­cial for judg­ing progress of the in­dus­try. And there is still work to be done,” Me­gan Townsend, GLAAD’s en­ter­tain­ment re­search and anal­y­sis di­rec­tor, said in a state­ment.

Of the 901char­ac­ters to ap­pear reg­u­larly on prime-time net­work se­ries in the 2017-18 sea­son, 6.4 per cent are iden­ti­fied as gay, les­bian, bi­sex­ual, trans­gen­der or queer.

That’s the big­gest per­cent­age on net­work shows found in the study’s 22 years, top­ping last year’s record high of 4.8 per cent. The num­bers also are up on ca­ble and stream­ing se­ries, al­though the study found fewer de­pic­tions of LGBTQ char­ac­ters of colour on stream­ing as well as broad­cast.

The study also looked at how women fare on TV and found it want­ing. While women make up an es­ti­mated 51 per cent of the U.S. pop­u­la­tion, they’re 43 per cent of the reg­u­larly ap­pear­ing char­ac­ters on broad­cast TV, a1per cent drop from last sea­son.

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