There's still a long way to go for diversity in television.
The media seems to be determined to spread the message of support for members of the LGBT community, and indeed huge steps have been taken in the world of showbiz to better represent the sexual and gender fluidity of humankind as a whole. However, the fact remains that only 4% of main characters on primetime shows diversify into LGBT territory.
Ruby Rose in Orange Is The New Black
For ten years, GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) has compiled an annual Where We Are on TV report, exploring just how much the industry has changed/is changing. While there is, indeed, a significant rise in the number of LGBT characters on our screens, there are often stereotypes attached and, as GLAAD CEO and President Sarah Kate Ellis revealed in the report, 'LGBT stories must go far beyond the common "coming out" narrative.'
The report looks at scripted TV series that are currently running in primetime or where the cast has been announced, between June 1st 2015 and May 31st 2016 to be exact. On an overall scale, 35 out of 881 main characters were LGBT, while there was another 35 recurring characters. This year is particularly special, though, as it's the first time GLAAD have included shows on Amazon, Hulu and Netflix in their findings, such as 'Transparent', 'Orange Is The New Black' and 'Sense8'. There's significant LGBT representation in this area with 43 regular LGBT characters in 23 series. In fact, 'OITNB''s Laverne Cox is making waves in showbiz on her own terms, becoming the first trans actor to be nominated for an Emmy, and the first to appear on the cover of Time magazine.
'We've witnessed tremendous progress in television since GLAAD began tracking the presence of LGBT characters 20 years ago, but there is still a great deal of work to be done and many new and exciting stories to be told', says Ellis.
Empire helps boost LGBT representation
Indeed, looking more in depth, there's still a distinct lack of trans characters on our screens. None were reported on primetime broadcast programming, and only three on cable which counts as 2%. Fortunately, web streaming shows were more generous with 7% - and yet only one trans man. Nonetheless, there has still been a remarkable rise of LGBT representation in the last year; cable increased the number of characters from 64 to 84.
Many of America's most popular shows are embracing diversity; shows such as 'Empire', 'Scream Queens' and 'Gotham' on Fox; ABC's 'How to Get Away with Murder'; 'American Horror Story' on FX; and 'Game of Thrones' on HBO. And with this sort of popularity only increasing, there's hope for LGBT society yet.
The fabulous Lily Tomlin finally gets the lead role she deserves in this smart, engaging...
Elle Reid may be tough, but she's struggling coping with a recent break-up with her...
Elle Reid is an ageing poet recovering from a broken heart following her break-up with...