LGBTQ roles in­crease on TV

But prob­lems re­main, GLAAD re­port says, as TV con­tin­ues to deal with the is­sue of in­creas­ing di­ver­sity.

Los Angeles Times - - CALENDAR - By Greg Brax­ton greg.brax­ton@la­times.com Twit­ter: @GeBrax­ton

A GLAAD re­port says rep­re­sen­ta­tion has hit a record, but more is­sues re­main.

The rep­re­sen­ta­tion of prime-time TV char­ac­ters iden­ti­fy­ing as les­bian, gay, bi­sex­ual, trans­gen­der and/ or queer has reached record highs in the last year. But de­spite that progress, the range of di­ver­sity of those char­ac­ters re­mains lim­ited.

That con­clu­sion was de­tailed Thurs­day in “Where We Are on TV,” the lat­est in the se­ries of an­nual re­ports is­sued by GLAAD, which mon­i­tors the ex­tent and por­tray­als of reg­u­lar and re­cur­ring LGBTQ char­ac­ters on scripted broad­cast ca­ble and stream­ing se­ries. The re­ports also ex­am­ine the over­all di­ver­sity of scripted shows on prime-time broad­cast TV.

The re­port from the ad­vo­cacy group said that of the 901 se­ries reg­u­lar char­ac­ters ex­pected to ap­pear on broad­cast prime-time scripted pro­grams in the 2017-18 TV sea­son, 58, or 6.4%, were iden­ti­fied as LGBTQ. The to­tal rep­re­sents the high­est per­cent­age of LGBTQ reg­u­lar char­ac­ters since GLAAD started its ex­panded sur­vey 13 years ago. The re­port said there were an ad­di­tional 28 re­cur­ring LGBTQ char­ac­ters in prime time.

Over­all, the study said, 86 LGBTQ reg­u­lar and re­cur­ring char­ac­ters ap­pear on ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox and the CW, a boost from last year’s pre­vi­ous high of 71.

Shows in the re­port hailed for fea­tur­ing LGBTQ char­ac­ters in lead roles in­cluded NBC’s “Will & Grace” and ABC’s “How to Get Away With Mur­der.”

On the ca­ble front, the num­ber of LGBTQ reg­u­lar char­ac­ters in­creased from 92 last year to 103 this year, while re­cur­ring LGBTQ char­ac­ters went up from 50 to 70.

But the re­port said the boost in num­bers is only part of the story, as TV con­tin­ues to grap­ple with the is­sue of in­creas­ing di­ver­sity. LGBTQ char­ac­ters are still pre­dom­i­nantly white and male.

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