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    Where We Are on TV 2023-2024

    Representation of LGBTQ Indigenous Characters

    Representation of Indigenous Characters Tamara Podemski as Joy Hawk and Morningstar Angeline as Martha Hawk Outer Range
    Tamara Podemski as Joy Hawk and Morningstar Angeline as Martha Hawk - Outer Range

    According to UCLA’s 2023 Hollywood Diversity Report, Native roles amount to only one percent of scripted roles on broadcast, cable, and streaming television. This number has been consistently low. The 2018 Reclaiming Native Truth study spoke to how this invisibility of Native people can lead to stigma, from individual prejudice to court decisions.

    When it comes to LGBTQ indigenous representation, the findings have been just as bleak. In last year’s report, only one percent of LGBTQ characters across all platforms were indigenous. Further, there are zero indigenous characters counted on primetime scripted broadcast this year. This is down from two last year, both on The CW shows which are no longer airing. The lack of LGBTQ indigenous characters creates a very large gap in broadcast programming.

    On primetime scripted cable, there is one indigenous character, Leah Danvers on True Detective: Night Country, the lesbian stepdaughter of the lead character Liz. This character is on an anthology series, so will not be returning next year. There were zero indigenous characters on cable last year.

    Of the 327 characters on streaming scripted originals, seven characters (two percent) are indigenous. This is an increase of four characters and one percentage point from last year. The majority of these characters are on Amazon: lesbian teen Tammy on Deadloch, lead character June’s wife Twig on The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart, and parents and partners Joy and Martha Hawk on Outer Range. The remaining three characters are on Netflix, including Aztec vampire Olrox on Castlevania: Nocturne, queer teen Missy on Heartbreak High, and a character in an upcoming season of a Netflix series.

    In total, of the 468 LGBTQ characters across broadcast, cable, and streaming, eight (two percent) are indigenous. This an increase of three characters and one percent, yet still an extremely low number.

    Representation of Indigenous LGBTQ Characters

    • Of the 64 LGBTQ characters counted on the five broadcast networks, none are indigenous.
    • Of the 77 LGBTQ characters counted on cable networks, one percent (one) are indigenous.
    • Of the 327 LGBTQ characters counted on eight streaming services, two percent (seven) are indigenous.
    • Of the 468 LGBTQ characters counted on all platforms, two percent (eight) are indigenous.

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