Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet
The CW and Showtime are leading the way in their representation of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community on television.
According to the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation's sixth annual Network Responsibility Index, which measures the quantity, quality and diversity of images LGBT people on broadcast and cable TV, The CW remains the top broadcast network (with 29% of its programming being LGBT-inclusive), as well as the most racially diverse (62%). Showtime tops the cable networks with 46% LGBT-friendly programming.
Other networks lauded for their portrayals of LGBT characters include ABC, ABC Family, Fox, TNT and HBO. Four the fourth year in a row CBS (8%) and TBS (5%) both received failing scores, as did the History network (3%).
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"Americans expect to see their off-screen worlds represented on-screen and today more than ever that includes LGBT people and families," said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. "Storylines of families like Mitchell and Cameron on Modern Family and young people like Emily on Pretty Little Liars are not only growing acceptance of our community, but have found praise from viewers and critics alike at a time when visibility and acceptance of LGBT people is at an all-time high."
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While GLAAD celebrates the growing range of LBGT characters, they note that the majority of these showcase white people. Graddick hopes continued efforts to change that statistic will prove that, "including an ethnically diverse cast of characters will not only be a more accurate reflection of the LGBT community but will also give programs the opportunity to build authentic and complex storylines."
Unfortunately, transgender representation remains very low, but GLAAD cited Chaz Bono's stint on Dancing With the Stars as a highlight of the year. "His very candid appearance on the program taught many that transgender Americans deserve respect and acceptance," said Graddick.