TBS, A&E Fail GLAAD's Report on LGBT-Inclusive Programming
ABC Family airs the most inclusive LGBT programming, according to GLAAD's annual Network Responsibility Index report, released Wednesday.
Of its 103 hours of original primetime programming, 55 percent included LGBT-inclusive images that also reflected the ethnic and racial diversity of the LGBT community.
"Programs like Pretty Little Liars and Greek have woven gay, lesbian, and bisexual characters into their stories in a way that mirrors the diversity of our community and the experiences of younger generations," says GLAAD's Herndon Graddick, senior director of programs. "Viewers expect to see television environments that accurately reflect what it's like to be a young adult, and today that includes young adults who happen to be gay."
As GLAAD points out, ABC Family and MTV, which in 2010 received the first-ever "Excellent" rating from GLAAD, are both targeted toward a younger audience.
CW topped broadcast networks, with 33 percent of its primetime programming hours labelled LGBT-inclusive. Fox came in second at 29 percent, and both networks received a "Good" rating this year.
ABC remained in third place in terms of its percentage of LGBT-inclusive programming hours, with 23 percent. ABC received a "Good" rating because of the strong quality of its LGBT images, and the network broadcast the greatest total number of LGBT-inclusive hours (253).
"As television audiences get to know our community and the common ground that we all share on the screen and in their own lives, acceptance is growing," says Mike Thompson, GLAAD's acting president. "Inclusive programming is a hit with critics and audiences alike who cheered for Kurt and Blaine's romance on Glee or watched the wedding of Callie and Arizona on Grey's Anatomy."
CBS was in last place with just 10 percent LGBT-inclusive hours of primetime programming. After receiving their second "Failing" score in a row last year, however, they improved enough to receive an "Adequate" score this year.
"CBS showed the most improvement of any broadcast network, however we continue to urge them to address the problems and deficiencies in their representation of our community, and hope their forward momentum will soon have them catching up with the other broadcast networks," says Graddick.
Over on cable, Showtime (37 percent), TNT (33 percent ), HBO (31 percent ), Lifetime (31 percent), AMC (29 percent), and Syfy (22 percent ) all received "Good" ratings.
USA increased their LGBT-inclusive hours from 4 percent to 18 percent , which improved their score from "Failing" to "Adequate."
For the fourth year in a row, A&E (5 percent) and TBS (5 percent) both received "Failing" ratings for their lack of LGBT-inclusive images.
GLAAD calls out networks for underrepresentation or misrepresentation of the transgender community, with no regular or recurring transgender characters on any networks they tracked.
"Fairly and accurately depicting the transgender community should be seen not just as a responsibility for networks, but as an opportunity," says GLAAD president Mike Thompson. "There are rich characters and stories yet to be written that would also help networks reflect the full spectrum of the LGBT community."
They tout TeenNick's Degrassi, which features a transgender teen named Adam and was recently honored with a Peabody Award and nominated for an Emmy.