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    Where We Are on TV 2023-2024

    Representation of LGBTQ Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) Characters

    Representation of Middle Eastern and North African Characters Yasmine Al Bustami as Lucy Tara and Tori Anderson as Kate Whistler NCIS Hawaii
    Yasmine Al Bustami as Lucy Tara and Tori Anderson as Kate Whistler - NCIS Hawaii

    According to Neilson data from 2022, Middle East/North African (MENA) characters represent only 2.5 percent of characters across broadcast, cable and streaming. According to the MENA Arts Advocacy Coalition, the majority of those characters represent harmful stereotypes of Middle Eastern people, which can lead to disinformation and discrimination. 

    As with last year, there is only one LGBTQ MENA character on primetime scripted broadcast, Lucy Tara on NCIS: Hawai’i. 

    Cable counts three MENA characters out of all 77 LGBTQ characters, representing four percent. This is a decrease from last year’s seven characters (five percent). The characters represented on cable include vampires Armand on AMC’s Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire and Nandor on FX’s What We Do in the Shadows, as well as college student Zaara on the final season of Freeform’s grown-ish. 

    On scripted original streaming programming there are nine (three percent) MENA characters, a decrease of three characters, but the same percent as last year. Highlights include lesbian character Mabel on Apple TV+’s period drama The Buccaneers, bisexual teen Jay on Netflix comedy Big Mouth, recurring characters Mr. Farouk and Sahar on Netflix’s Heartstopper, Reese on Paramount+’s SkyMed, and more. 

    Of all 468 characters counted across all three platforms, 13 (three percent) are MENA. This is a decrease of seven characters year over year, but an equal percentage.

    Representation of MENA LGBTQ Characters

    • Of the 64 LGBTQ characters counted on the five broadcast networks, two percent (one) are MENA.
    • Of the 77 LGBTQ characters counted on cable networks, four percent (three) are MENA.
    • Of the 327 LGBTQ characters counted on eight streaming services, three percent (nine) are MENA.
    • Of the 468 LGBTQ characters counted on all platforms, three percent (13) are MENA.

    No Data Found

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