Do Twitter users have a point that Netflix creates too many gay characters? NO! And even Netflix (or at least, their social media handler) thinks so.
Nowadays, it seems like many tv shows include a gay character. Long down are the days where we could only get a gay character through gay-centric television programming like Queer As Folk, Noah’s Arc, or The L Word. But even if that’s true, is that enough? And, are we already getting too much?
According to the 2019 GLAAD “Where We Are On TV” report, LGBTQ characters make up 10.2% or 90 out of 879 series regulars on broadcast scripted primetime TV. In addition, Netflix has the highest number of LGBTQ regular and recurring characters on streaming’s scripted original programming. Then, combining its LGBTQ characters with Amazon Prime Video and Hulu results in 109 series regular LGTBQ characters and 44 recurring LGBTQ characters.
Every damn new series pic.twitter.com/zLJstwiThm
— Chilambo 💜 (@AdamSB___) May 5, 2020
Not knowing these numbers, however, one could possibly see the gay characters on Netflix and other entertainment sources as a constant influx of LGBTQ representation. For one Twitter user, this was too much of a realization. The tweet in question, which is shared above, includes a Spongebob Squarepants meme where Patrick represents Netflix. Patrick is seen forcing a large pumpkin with the caption “an unnecessary gay character” down the throat of Spongebob and any new series on the platform.
Before the official Netflix Twitter account could even respond to the tweet, many Twitter users came to the video streaming platform’s defense.
well imagine how tired we are pic.twitter.com/ufeLZeF8wb
— ً ✮ (@ncstlgc) May 5, 2020
so straight characters are normal but gay characters are unnecessary? the whole point of representation is to normalize it because being gay is normal and so it isn't unnecessary, its important and is no less "necessary" than straight characters
— chelsea 🕊️ (@femmenart) May 5, 2020
she could've said that, but she also could have not said this pic.twitter.com/SOljzWMlCp
— TerriblePie (@TerriblePastry) May 6, 2020
Though, some came to the original poster’s defense.
And if you all can't pass a message with been insultive, then I m not having this conversation with you all….. pic.twitter.com/4tFnOIlm8v
— Anita (@aniruoje) May 5, 2020
stats say that 1 in 5 people are queer in some way. That includes black people. You have queer friends. They just don't trust you enought to tell you.
— Mx.Jones🏳️🌈 (@Mizeri79) May 5, 2020
But then, of course, Netflix eventually joined the fray.
“Sorry you have yet to realize that every gay person is very necessary,” the official Twitter account responded.
sorry you have yet to realize that every gay person is very necessary https://t.co/xTOEcLWryc
— Netflix (@netflix) May 6, 2020
Frankly, there AREN’T too many LGBTQ characters. With just 10.2% of series regular characters on primetime broadcast shows and 109 series regular characters out of all series regular characters on Netflix, Hulu, and Prime Video, there aren’t as many LGBTQ characters as we think. Depending on which statistics you use for how many LGBTQ people exist in our society, this amount of representation is either just enough or still too little. But certainly, not too many.