Of nearly 700 characters in primetime Spanish-language U.S. television, just 3% were lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer (LGBTQ), according to a new analysis by GLAAD, the New York-based media advocacy group.
The rate is largely unchanged from the last time GLAAD looked at LGBTQ representation in scripted television by major Spanish-language television networks. The study , titled “Still Invisible,” looked at series that aired between 7- 11 p.m. on Univision, Telemundo and UniMás. Other Spanish-language networks like Azteca América and Estrella TV were excluded because they did not offer primetime scripted series.
GLAAD counted just 19 characters, of which 13 were gay men, 3 were lesbians, two were bisexual women and one was a transgender woman.
“Writers, producers and networks still seem uncertain about whether and how to represent LGBTQ Latinx people,” the report said, using the gender-neutral terminology for the word Latino.
GLAAD executives called on Spanish-language networks to improve representation, which has lagged progress made in English-language American television.
“As the Trump administration continues its attack on marginalized groups, it’s more important than ever that television shares the stories of those groups onscreen,” GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said in a statement. “‘Still Invisible’ shows a severe lack of LGBTQ representation in Spanish-language programming – something sorely needed in a time when the country’s Spanish-speaking and immigrant populations are more at risk than ever.”
The report took issue with the representations of LGBTQ characters that did exist, noting that while series explored romantic relationships, 10 of the 19 LGBTQ characters had no romantic stories or “tragic, failed loves,” calling it “significant that many of the LGBTQ characters included in scripted programming did not have any fully realized relationships.”