Below are some of the most remarkable points GLAAD found in its research this year, download the full report now to read more.
- Of the 901 regular characters expected to appear on broadcast scripted primetime programming this season, 58 (6.4%) were identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer. This is the highest percentage GLAAD has found in the history of this report. There were an additional 28 recurring LGBTQ characters.
- The number of regular LGBTQ characters counted on scripted primetime cable increased to 103, and recurring characters increased to 70, making for 173 characters.
- There were 51 LGBTQ regular characters counted in original scripted series on the streaming services Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix as well as 19 recurring characters. This is an increase of five total characters from last year’s 65 total LGBTQ characters.
- Bisexual+ characters make up 28 percent of the LGBTQ characters tracked across all platforms (broadcast, cable, streaming originals), a slight decrease from last year. These characters still heavily skew toward women (75 women to 18 men).
- This year, there are 17 regular and recurring transgender characters tracked across all three platforms. Of those, nine are trans women, four are trans men, and four are non-binary. This is notably the first time GLAAD has been able to count non-binary characters.
- Racial diversity of LGBTQ characters remains an area of concern. Of the 70 LGBTQ characters counted on streaming originals, 77 percent were white. All three platforms tracked here – broadcast, cable, and streaming originals – lacked LGBTQ characters of color.
- For the first time since GLAAD has started this report, we were able to count asexual characters. Cable and streaming each include one asexual character (Raphael on Freeform’s Shadowhunters, Todd on Netflix’s BoJack Horseman), while there are no canon asexual characters on broadcast. While the Jughead character is asexual in the Archie comics, The CW’s Archie series Riverdale is not yet telling this story. GLAAD would like to see the series address this moving forward, as the ace community remains nearly invisible in media.
- Only 43 percent of the regular characters counted on broadcast primetime television are women, a decrease of one percentage point from last year and a severe underrepresentation of the U.S. population, which is estimated to be 51% women.
- The amount of regular primetime broadcast characters counted who have a disability has slightly increased to 1.8 percent, but that number still vastly underrepresents the actualities of Americans with disabilities. There are only two characters across all three platforms that are depicted has HIV-positive, a decrease of one from last year.
Where We Are on TV Archive:
Where We Are on TV Report: 2005 – 2006 Season
Where We Are on TV Report: 2006 – 2007 Season
Where We Are on TV Report: 2007 – 2008 Season
Where We Are on TV Report: 2008 – 2009 Season
Where We Are on TV Report: 2009 – 2010 Season
Where We Are on TV Report: 2010 – 2011 Season
Where We Are on TV Report: 2011 – 2012 Season
Where We Are on TV Report: 2012 – 2013 Season
Where We Are on TV Report: 2013 – 2014 Season
Where We Are on TV Report: 2014 – 2015 Season
Where We Are on TV Report: 2015 – 2016 Season
Where We Are on TV Report: 2016 – 2017 Season
GLAAD’s annual Where We Are On TV report not only propels national conversations about LGBTQ representation, but informs GLAAD’s own advocacy within the television industry. GLAAD uses this yearly data to create a clearer picture of the stories and images being presented by television networks, and to work alongside the networks and content creators to tell fair, accurate, and inclusive LGBTQ stories on screen. The next Where We Are on TV will be released in 2018. Read GLAAD’s Studio Responsibility Index at glaad.org/sri.