2019 marked an all-time high presence of LGBTQ characters on broadcast and cable television, according to a new study by the advocacy group GLAAD.
Of the 879 series regular characters appearing on broadcast prime time scripted programming this season, more than 10 percent, or 90 characters were counted as LGBTQ.
This is the highest percentage of LGBTQ regular characters GLAAD has counted on prime time scripted broadcast programming, and up from the previous year’s 8.8 percent.
Thursday, GLAAD released its annual “Where We Are on TV” report; a comprehensive tracking and forecast of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer (LGBTQ) characters expected in prime time scripted programming in the 2019-20 television season.
There were an additional 30 recurring LGBTQ characters on broadcast, which makes a total of 120 LGBTQ regular and recurring characters on primetime scripted broadcast TV, up from the previous year’s 113.
The five broadcast networks are ABC, CBS, The CW, FOX, and NBC. The CW aired the highest percentage of LGBTQ series regulars at 15.4.
Notably for the first time, LGBTQ women on prime time broadcast scripted series outnumbered LGBTQ men this year.
Of the 120 LGBTQ characters, 53 percent were women and 47 percent men.
There is also one non-binary character.
And, for the second year in a row, LGBTQ people of color outnumber white LGBTQ people, 52 percent to 48 percent.
GLAAD called on the television industry to make sure that 20 percent of series regular characters on prime time scripted broadcast series are LGBTQ by 2025.
Sarah Kate Ellis, President & CEO of GLAAD, said that at a time when the cultural climate is growing increasingly divisive, increased representation of LGBTQ stories and characters on television is especially critical to advance LGBTQ acceptance.
“Shows like Pose, Schitt’s Creek, Batwoman, and Billions demonstrate that not only are LGBTQ stories and characters on TV becoming more diverse, but that viewers everywhere continue to respond with extreme positivity.”
GLAAD and Harris Poll’s Accelerating Acceptance study shows that 20 percent of Americans aged 18-34 are LGBTQ.
The General Social Survey from NORC at the University of Chicago found that 23 percent of Black women in America in this age group identify as bisexual, and the University’s GenForward survey reports that 1 in 5 Latinx Millennials are LGBTQ.
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