More Gay Characters on TV This and Next Year
GLAAD (the organization formerly known as the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) has been tracking lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) characters on TV for 20 years now. For the past decade, the results have been published in the annual report "Where We Are on TV." This year's bottom line: More gay and transgender characters are on TV this season with, as might be expected, cable and streaming services far outpacing network broadcasters, who must appeal to the broadest audience.
GLAAD looked at the prime-time scripted series that air, or are expected to air, between June 1, 2015, and May 31, 2016, for which casting has been announced. GLAAD tallied all the characters on broadcast (network) TV and found that of 881 main characters, 35 (4 percent) were identified as lesbian, gay or bisexual. An additional 35 recurring characters -- those who make multiple appearances in a series but are not part of the main cast -- fit the LGB description.
Scripted cable series this season will feature 84 regular LGBT characters (up from 64 last season) and 58 recurring ones (up from 41). Original series premiering on the streaming services Amazon, Hulu and Netflix include 43 LGBT regulars and 16 recurring ones across 23 series.