After A Record-Setting Year, Fewer Gay And Bisexual Characters Are On Television

GLAAD’s 18th annual “State Of Television” report shows that although cable LGBT depictions are growing, you didn’t see as many gay faces on broadcast TV this year.

1. Today GLAAD released two yearly “State of Television” reports that map the quantity, quality, and diversity of images of LGBT individuals on television.

2. GLAAD’s “Network Responsibility Index” (NRI), looks back on the previous season and rates the networks on LGBT-inclusive content between June 2012 and May 2013.

Based on the overall quantity, quality, and diversity of LGBT representation on scripted programming, GLAAD has assigned a grade to each network a ranking of “excellent, good, adequate, or failing.” Each program was reviewed for on-screen inclusion of LGBT representations, looking for the number of LGBT-inclusive hours out of total broadcast hours.

3. Receiving a score of “Good”:

*No networks received a rating of “Excellent” this year.

4. ABC Family: 50% LGBT-inclusive hours


5. Fox: 42% LGBT-inclusive hours

6. ABC: 33% LGBT-inclusive hours.

7. Showtime: 31% LGBT-inclusive hours

8. The CW: 28% LGBT-inclusive hours

9. MTV: 28% LGBT-inclusive hours

10. NBC: 29% LGBT-inclusive hours

11. “Adequate” scores were given to CBS, FX, HBO, TLC, TNT, and USA.

12. Only two networks received “failing” scores: History and TBS.

13. The second report, GLAAD’s 18th Annual “Where We Are on TV,” gives a character count and analysis of scripted characters appearing in the upcoming 2013–2014 season.


14. ABC and Fox are the only networks to have improvement compared to last year, both with 5.4% of primetime series regulars being LGBT individuals.

Breakdown of diversity by broadcast network:

15. For the first time since GLAAD began this report, the number of regular and recurring male LGBT characters expected this season is equal to the number of female LGBT characters.

Diversity of 46 LGBT characters on broadcast 2013–2014:

17. On cable networks, the number of regular LGBT characters continued to increase from 35 to 42 this year, while the number of recurring characters decreased from 26 to 24.

Diversity of 66 LGBT characters on Cable for 2013–2014:

19. Numbers are one thing to consider, but it’s important to remember content is another.

20. GLAAD spokesman Wilson Cruz stated:

Last season was a stellar one when it comes to the sheer number of gay, lesbian and bisexual representations on television, though diversity within those storylines showed room for improvement.

21. Read the full reports here.

The full report also touchs upon streaming content, daytime television, and Spanish television.

Check out more articles on!

Sarah Karlan is the Deputy LGBT Editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Sarah Karlan at
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.
  Your Reaction?

    Starting soon, you'll only be able to post a comment on BuzzFeed using a Facebook account or via our app. If you have questions or thoughts, email us here.


    More News
    More News
    Now Buzzing