GLAAD's annual report on LGBT characters on TV, the "Where We Are on TV" study, "looks at the number of LGBTQ characters on cable networks and streaming services for the 2016-2017 TV season:"
- Of the 895 series regular characters expected to appear on broadcast scripted primetime programming in the coming year, 43 (4.8%) were identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer. This is the highest percentage of LGBTQ series regulars GLAAD has ever found. There were an additional 28 recurring LGBTQ characters.
Racist and sexist under-representation are still evident:
- While this year's report marks a record-high percentage of black series regulars on broadcast (20%), black women remain underrepresented at only 38% of all black series regular characters.
- This year, 44% of regular characters on primetime broadcast programming are women, which is an increase of one percentage point from last year but still greatly underrepresents women who make up 51% of the population.
The Advocate proclaims that "TV has never been queerer," although LGBTQ Nation notes that "More than 25 lesbian and bisexual female characters died on scripted broadcast, cable and streaming series this year:"
While TV remains far ahead of film in gay representations, the medium "failed queer women this year" by continuing the "harmful 'bury your gays' trope," the report said. [...] It's part of a decade-long pattern in which gay or transgender characters are killed to further a straight character's storyline, GLAAD said, sending what it called the "dangerous" message that gay people are disposable.
Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD's CEO, comments that:
"While it is heartening to see progress being made in LGBTQ representation on television, it's important to remember that numbers are only part of the story, and we must continue the push for more diverse and intricate portrayals of the LGBTQ community," said Ellis.