LGBTQ Lobby Demands 20% of TV Characters are Gay or Transgender by 2025
Pressure group GLAAD is pushing for 'more inclusive' characters on television
LGBTQ lobby group GLAAD is demanding that the entertainment industry meets a new minimum requirement by ensuring that 20 percent of all TV characters are either gay or transgender by 2025.
Last week, GLAAD released its annual report on the state of LGBTQ “representation” in television, calling for Hollywood to ramp up its efforts to become "more inclusive" of homosexual and trans characters.
Despite noting that it has seen a rise in prime-time depictions of gay and transgender characters, the pressure group is calling for television to double its efforts to become more LGBTQ-friendly in the next five years, however.
“Of the 879 series regular characters expected to appear on broadcast primetime scripted programming in the coming year, 90 (10.2 percent) were counted as LGBTQ,” the group states in its report.
By meeting an expectation set by the group last year, the new figures mark the “highest percentage of LGBTQ regular characters GLAAD has counted on primetime scripted broadcast programming.”
GLAAD cites a survey it did with Harris that supposedly found that 20% of Americans aged 18–34 are LGBTQ.
But the group wants that over-representation to double yet again, “calling on the industry to ensure that 20 percent of series regular characters on primetime scripted broadcast series are LGBTQ by 2025.”
“Further, we would challenge all platforms to make sure that within the next two years, half of LGBTQ characters on every platform are people of color,” the group adds.
“While broadcast has actually hit this mark two years in a row, cable and streaming have yet to reach this goal.”
GLAAD claims that it wants only to ensure that “entertainment reflects the world in which it is created and the audience who consumes it,” but evidence suggests that effectively quadrupling the actual LGBTQ population will further contribute to widespread misconceptions.
Gallup reported in June that Americans greatly overestimate the LGBTQ share of the population, wrongly assuming almost a quarter of the population to be homosexual.
While LGBTQ “representation” is steadily rising on American television, GLAAD has complained for years about the lack of gay and transgender characters and themes in major movies.
The group has also been pushing for more LGBTQ content in videogames.
In August 2018, it joined with the group Time’s Up to organize a coalition of more than 45 groups, talent agencies, and production companies demanding more frequent and favorable depictions of transgender characters in media.
However, GLAAD’s own research suggests an unavoidable conflict between activists’ increasing demands for identity politics and mainstream audiences’ decreasing willingness to be lectured in their entertainment.
According to GLAAD, the aggressiveness of LGBTQ activists has yielded reductions in the share of Americans aged 18–34 who qualify as LGBTQ “allies.”