GLAAD praises networks in annual survey

Story highlights

  • GLAAD gives MTV, HBO, ABC Family "excellent" grades in survey of LGBT characters
  • Networks "producing some of the best LGBT-inclusive programming we've yet seen," says GLAAD head
  • In future, more importance will be given to transgender content, organization says
For the first time, three networks have rated "excellent" in an annual survey of LGBT portrayals on television, the LGBT media advocacy organization GLAAD said Wednesday.
In its annual Network Responsibility Index, GLAAD said that ABC Family, HBO and MTV all earned its top grade for its LGBT representations on their original programming in the 2013-14 season. The networks air such shows as "Faking It" (MTV), "Looking" (HBO) and "The Fosters" (ABC Family).
On the other end of the spectrum, A&E, History and TNT all earned "failing" grades. (TNT and HBO are both divisions of Time Warner, as is CNN.)
ABC, The CW, Fox, NBC, FX and Showtime earned "good" marks, and CBS, TLC and USA received "adequate" grades.
"Television networks are playing a key role in promoting cultural understanding of LGBT lives around the world, and are now producing some of the best LGBT-inclusive programming we've yet seen," said GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis in a statement.
In the future, said Ellis, GLAAD will also be making transgender content a key part of earning an "excellent" grade.
The organization also put out its Where We Are on TV report chronicling the number of LGBT characters in the current television season.
For 2014-15, 3.9% of prime-time broadcast scripted series regulars will be lesbian, gay or bisexual, an increase of 0.6% from last season. Broadcast scripted series have 33 recurring lesbian, gay or bisexual characters; cable scripted series have 64 regulars and 41 recurring lesbian, gay or bisexual characters.
Transgender characters have major roles in two series from streaming services: "Orange Is the New Black" (on Netflix) and "Transparent" (from Amazon).