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Study finds more Gay characters on network TV
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Study finds more Gay characters on network TV

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Staff Writer

On September 30, Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) released their 14th Annual Diversity report, previewing the 2009-2010 television season. The number of LGBT characters on primetime network TV is up slightly this season to 18 out of a total of 600 roles.

The GLAAD study breaks down television into broadcast, cable, reality and animation. Then, the 600 characters on primetime are broken down further into six primary groups: Drama Lead/Supporting, Drama Recurring, Comedy Lead/Supporting, Comedy Recurring, Animated, and Reality.

The "Where We Are on TV" report found that 3% of actors appearing regularly on network drama and comedy series in 2009-10 season will portray LGBT characters. The newest numbers are an increase from 2.6% in the 2008-09 season, and 1.1% in the 2007-08 season.

On mainstream cable channels, however, the number of LGBT characters continued to drop, slipping from a total of 32 in 2008 to 25 this year.

According to the report, two channels that program for LGBT viewers - here! and Logo - add 27 Gay characters to the cable total this year.

The report notes that all of the representation is overwhelmingly white, with only four LGBT people of color appearing on broadcast shows and 13 on cable.

ABC led the networks in Gay representation, with eight Gay characters out of 160, followed by Fox with four out of 104.

CBS lacked a single LGBT part, the report said.

"It's promising to see not only an increase in the quantity of LGBT characters, but that storylines about the LGBT community are becoming more reflective of current issues impacting our lives," said Jarrett Barrios, GLAAD president. "Americans now have the opportunity to see LGBT couples marrying on shows like Brothers & Sisters, raising children on Modern Family, and LGBT youth coming out on Glee."

As more Americans see fair, accurate images of our community and the issues impacting our lives reflected on the small screen, Barrios said, the more they will come to accept and better understand their LGBT family members and neighbors.

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