GLAAD: Fox Takes Lead With LGBT Characters

Fox has overtaken ABC as the broadcast network that is most inclusive when it comes to regular lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) characters.

According to GLAAD’s 16th annual “Where We Are On TV” report, Fox features eight series regular LGBT characters (out of 117 total) in the new TV season — up from the network’s tally of zero back in 2007. (Of note, the report counts Glee‘s Brittany as bi, while three of the eight LGBTs appear within Fox’s “Animation Domination” line-up.)

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Dropping from 7.2 percent LGBT representation in 2010 to 3.4 percent, ABC ceded the top spot for the first time in six years, in part due to the cancellation of Brothers & Sisters. NBC and The CW also showed year-to-year declines, while CBS landed in last place for a fourth consecutive year. (The Eye has one LGBT character — The Good Wife‘s Kalinda — out of 134 total series regulars, but, GLAAD notes, has several recurring LGBT characters.)

Across all of broadcast TV, LGBT representation is down year-over-year, from 3.9 to 2.9 percent (or 19 out of 647 regular characters). That said, “Some of the most popular shows with critics and viewers, such as Glee, True Blood and The Good Wife, weave storylines about gay and lesbian characters into the fabric of the show,” GLAAD acting president Mike Thompson noted in a statement. “Whether it’s the growing household of Mitchell and Cameron on Modern Family or the recent wedding of Callie and Arizona on Grey’s Anatomy, Americans expect to see the diversity of our country represented in their favorite programs and that includes gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people.”

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Among the major cable outlets, which as a whole also showed a decline, HBO leads the pack with 11 total LGBT charcters, seven of which are series regulars.

An interactive list of regular and recurring LGBT characters noted in the GLAAD report can be found here.

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