Survey by GLAAD shows drop in LGBT representation on US television

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Fewer gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender characters are part of the new US TV season compared to last year, LGBT media advocacy group GLAAD has revealed.

GLAAD’s 18th annual “Where We Are on TV” report released on Friday shows 3.3% of 796 regularly appearing characters on prime-time American broadcast dramas and comedies represent the LGBT community.

Last season’s study by GLAAD put LGBT depictions at 4.4% – a record high for US television.

There are 46 LGBT regular and recurring characters on TV, with half of them women and 28% ethnic minorities.  One transgender character, Wade ‘Unique’ Adams, is on Fox’s Glee, she began appearing on the show in its 2011 third season.

Two networks, ABC and Fox, showed increases this year and had the highest proportions of LGBT characters with 5.4% each. CW was in third place at 3%, followed by CBS at 1.9% and NBC last on 1%.

On cable TV, scripted programmes include 42 regularly seen LGBT characters, up from last season’s 35. HBO has the most LGBT characters with 11, followed by Showtime with eight.

In an interview with PinkNews last month, GLAAD’s Head of Public Communications, Rich Ferraro, explained how significant progress has been made by the US media when it comes to gay inclusion. However the focus now is on pushing for greater transgender representation. “A lot of the work we are doing right now in Hollywood is dealing with transgender issues. We recently met with the President of CBS Entertainment to talk about the transgender community, which is nearly invisible on CBS, and on many of the other networks.”