GLAAD study: Record number of LGBTQ characters on TV series
This image released by NBC shows, from left, Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Sean Hayes and Megan Mullally in "Will & Grace." A new study says TV series are including more LGBTQ characters and adding gender-nonconforming ones. (Chris Haston/NBC via AP)
Lynn Elber, The Associated Press
Published Thursday, November 9, 2017 11:52AM EST
LOS ANGELES - The media advocacy group GLAAD says TV series are including more LGBTQ characters and adding gender-nonconforming ones, but there's a need for richer, more complex stories about them.
The group's annual "Where We Are on TV" study found LGBTQ depictions increased in the current season across broadcast, cable and streaming platforms.
Shows contributing to the change include NBC's reboot of "Will & Grace" and "The Deuce" on HBO.
Of the 901 characters set to appear regularly on prime-time network series in the 2017-18 season, 6.4 per cent are identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender or queer.
That's the biggest percentage on network shows found in the study's 22 years, topping last year's record-high of 4.8 per cent.
The numbers also are up on cable and streaming platform series, although the study found fewer depictions of LGBTQ characters of colour on streaming as well as broadcast.
Megan Townsend, GLAAD's entertainment research and analysis director, says while they're pleased to see numbers on the rise, consideration of how LGBTQ characters are woven into story lines and whose stories are making it to screen is crucial for judging progress of the industry.
She says there is still work to be done.