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GLAAD's 2013 TV Report: LGBT Primetime Representation Drops From 2012 High

GLAAD's annual TV reports, the Network Responsibility Index (NRI) and Where We Are On TV, were released this morning with one major headline: LGBT representation in primetime broadcast scripted shows is down a full percentage point over this time in 2012. 

From GLAAD's press release:

In its Network Responsibility Index, which rates LGBT content on networks during the 2012-2013 TV season that wrapped earlier this year, GLAAD found FOX was the most inclusive broadcast network with 42% of primetime programming hours having included LGBT images and earning FOX a rating of Good. Each network is reviewed on a scale of Excellent, Good, Adequate, or Failing. No network received an Excellent rating this year. ABC came in second place for the number of inclusive hours at 33% and also earned a score of Good. On cable, ABC Family was the most inclusive network GLAAD tracked last year with 50% of its original programming including LGBT impressions or storylines. It was followed by FX at 40%. History received a Failing grade with no LGBT images on any of its shows last season.

In its Where We Are on TV report which counts the number of LGBT characters in the 2013-2014 television season which just began, GLAAD found that 3.3% of primetime broadcast scripted series regulars will be LGBT characters, following the record high number of LGBT series regulars (4.4%) counted on broadcast television in last year’s report. There will be an equal number of women and men among LGBT characters during the 2013-2014 broadcast season, showing an effort from networks to diversify storylines beyond the white gay male narrative most commonly seen on television.

"Last season was a stellar one when it comes to the sheer number of gay, lesbian and bisexual representations on television, though diversity within those storylines showed room for improvement," said GLAAD's Wilson Cruz. "Though the number of LGBT characters dropped this season, shows like The Fosters, with an interracial female couple raising a family, and characters like Unique on Glee have not only moved the conversation about LGBT people forward, but are also a hit with audiences."

"Our television images not only reach American audiences, but countless others around the world. It is time for the television networks to make new and groundbreaking LGBT stories a priority once again," said Cruz.

Major bullet points to come out of this year's reports include:

  • In the Network Responsibility Index, which rates LGBT content on networks during the 2012-2013 TV season that wrapped earlier this year, GLAAD found FOX was the most inclusive broadcast network.
  • No network received an Excellent rating this year.
  • History received a Failing grade with no LGBT images on any of its shows last season.
  • In its Where We Are on TV report which counts the number of LGBT characters in the 2013-2014 television season which just began, GLAAD found that 3.3% of primetime broadcast scripted series regulars will be LGBT characters, following the record high number of LGBT series regulars (4.4%) counted on broadcast television in last year’s report.
  • GLAAD uses the findings from these reports to meet with networks throughout the year and advocate for more diverse LGBT characters and issues to be presented.

Head here to check out the full 2013 reports.