GLAAD has released its annual report on inclusion of LGBTQ characters on television and has come up with a glowing report for networks in terms of showcasing diversity.
This year’s report found record highs for transgender and black series regular characters on the small screen during the 2016-17 broadcast season amongst original series on broadcast, cable, premium cable and streaming services. LGBTQ regular characters hit their highest mark of inclusion in twelve years, hovering at 4.8% on broadcast television.
Additionally, a record-high 20% of all series regulars are black, while the number of transgender regular and recurring characters doubled from seven last year to sixteen this year. There are also a record high of regular characters with disabilities on broadcast TV at 1.7%.
The news was not all good though as the networks were blasted for the proliferation of the decades-old “Bury Your Gays” trope – in which gay characters are killed or hurt to further the storylines of straight leading characters. This essentially treats LGBTQ characters as “secondary and disposable”.
The study found more than twenty-five lesbian and bisexual characters were killed off on scripted TV in both broadcast and streaming series since January 1st. The full results of the study are up at GLAAD.org