The number of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender characters in primetime continues to rise, according to a new GLAAD study set to be released today.
The org found that 3% of scripted series regulars on the broadcast nets are gay and lesbian, up from 2.6% in 2008 and 1.1% in 2007.
“It is promising to see not only an increase in the quantity of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender television characters but that storylines about the LGBT community are becoming more reflective of current issues impacting our lives,” said GLAAD prexy Jarrett Barrios.
For its “Where We Are on TV” report, GLAAD studied 79 scripted comedies and dramas for this season, and found 600 series regulars — of which 18 were gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.
ABC led the way, with eight characters out of 168 (5%), followed by Fox, with four out of 105 (4%), NBC, with three out of 126 (3%) and the CW, with two characters out of 69 (3%). CBS had none, which the org called “disappointing.”
GLAAD officials said they were also concerned about a lack of diversity among the LGBT characters — as just four are people of color.
According to the GLAAD study, male characters outnumber women 57% to 43% overall in primetime. White characters rep 77% (466 out of 600), followed by African Americans, at 11% (67) and then Latino representation, which is down to 5% (27). Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders rep 4% (23 characters).
GLAAD also found that the number of regular gay and lesbian characters on the mainstream cable nets dropped to 25 vs. 32 last fall.
This year is the fifth GLAAD has studied the demos of regular-season TV characters.