TV research: LGBTQ characters rise in quantity with streaming

LOS ANGELES (AP) — LGBTQ illustration on scripted TV collection has grown together with the footprint of streaming companies, based on an annual research by the advocacy group GLAAD.

“TV is main leisure in telling LGBTQ tales,” Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD, stated within the “Where We Are on TV” report on the 2021-22 season that was launched Thursday.

In recognition of the elevated quantity and profile of streaming companies, the research added 5 relative newcomers to the trio — Amazon, Hulu and Netflix — included in earlier GLAAD variety tallies.

Broadcast networks and cable channels are a part of the research, which additionally appears at broadcast illustration of girls, folks of colour and people with disabilities.

Netflix, which has persistently topped its streaming rivals in LGBTQ inclusivity, based on GLAAD, ranked first once more, with 155 often seen or recurring characters on its authentic comedy and drama collection.

By comparability, prime-time collection on the ABC, CBS, CW, Fox and NBC networks embody a mixed 141 LGBTQ characters this season, based on the research.

However GLAAD provided thinly veiled criticism of Netflix over its dealing with of Dave Chappelle’s 2021 particular “The Nearer,” which was faulted by folks inside and outdoors the corporate for what they deemed anti-transgender humor. Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos later stated he erred in addressing worker considerations, however the particular remained on the streaming service.

“It could be disingenuous to shine a lightweight on Netflix’s inclusive programming with out additionally being clear on the hurt Netflix did to the LGBTQ neighborhood this previous fall by doubling down on giving anti-LGBTQ content material the attain and legitimacy of their platform and model,” the report stated.

Netflix declined remark.

After final yr’s pandemic diminished the TV business’s output, the GLAAD report expressed satisfaction that the rebound didn’t go away behind LGBTQ depictions. The expansion in streaming companies, together with Apple TV+, Disney+, HBO Max, Paramount+ and Peacock, opened the door for extra inclusive fare.

The next are among the many report’s findings, by platform:


There have been 358 often seen and recurring LGBTQ characters in collection provided by the eight streaming companies included within the research — a rise of 217 from final yr’s whole discovered on three streaming companies. (Final yr, solely Amazon, Hulu and Netflix had been tracked.)

Serving to Netflix retain its lead in LGBTQ depictions are foreign-language dramas with queer tales, the report stated, together with “Younger Royals” from Sweden, “Rebelde” from Mexico and “Elite” from Spain. They be a part of the inclusive Netflix comedies “By no means Have I Ever,” “Q-Power” and “Intercourse Schooling.”

HBO Max, which launched in spring 2020, landed in second place in its first GLAAD tally. The service “shortly constructed a status for standout LGBTQ-inclusive comedy collection,” the report stated, with the vast majority of its 71 LGBTQ characters discovered on comedies, together with the Emmy-winning “Hacks,” “The Intercourse Lives of Faculty Ladies” and “Type Of.”


Of the 775 often showing collection characters on networks in prime time, 92 (11.9%) had been LGBTQ. The earlier report excessive, within the 2019-20 report, was 10.2%. Combining recurring and common roles, LGBTQ characters totaled 141, a “important enhance” over final yr’s tally of 101, the report stated.

In a first-time discovering, lesbians signify the vast majority of LGBTQ characters on broadcast, with new characters launched in collection together with “NCIS: Hawai’i” and “Regulation & Order: Organized Crime.” The research known as it a welcome and “noteworthy change” from TV’s criticized portrayal of queer ladies as tragic figures.

Though networks area reveals with a number of LGBTQ characters, together with “Station 19” and “Batwoman,” there has but to be a collection with a majority LGBTQ forged, the research stated. In distinction, cable and streaming have provided a number of, together with “Pose,” “Queer as Folks” and “Tales of the Metropolis.”

Amongst collection regulars, characters of colour reached a report 50%, up 4 share factors from the earlier season, whereas the share of feminine collection regulars hit a brand new excessive of 47%. However community depictions of characters with disabilities dropped to 2.8%, simply 22 characters, from a excessive of three.5%.


Two years in the past, GLAAD stated that it requested all TV platforms to decide to folks of colour making up not less than half of LGBTQ characters, and broadcast and cable met the problem. “Sadly, this yr cable moved backward,“ the report stated, dropping from 52% to 45%.

A pointy soar within the variety of recurring LGBTQ characters on cable collection, together with an uptick amongst common characters, introduced the mixed whole to 138 on prime-time scripted cable originals. That’s up from final season’s 118 however a major drop from the 215 characters of two years in the past.

With a complete of 35 LGBTQ characters — together with 16 on “The L Phrase: Technology Q” and 4 on newcomer “Yellowjackets” — Showtime was discovered to be essentially the most LGBTQ-inclusive cable community after rating third final season.


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