Streaming services are outpacing
network and cable television in their representations of lesbian,
gay, bisexual and transgender people, according to a GLAAD report.
GLAAD's 20th annual Where
We Are on TV report found that transgender characters are
completely absent from primetime network schedules. Cable didn't
fare much better, with only 3 recurring transgender characters (2%).
Representation was highest on streaming services such as Netflix and
Hulu, where 7 percent of characters were transgender.
“Each of us lives at the intersection
of many identities and it's important that television characters
reflect the full diversity of the LGBT community,” said GLAAD CEO
and President Sarah Kate Ellis. “It is not enough to just include
LGBT characters; those characters need to be portrayed with thought
and care to accurately represent an often tokenized community.”
“Streaming services aren't shackled
to the same revenue models as television, which gives them more
freedom to be creative and tell more rich and diverse stories,” she
explained in remarks to The New York Times.
GLAAD counted 35 (4%) regular gay,
lesbian or bisexual characters on primetime broadcast networks. The
number of regular LGBT characters counted on cable increased from 64
to 84, while GLAAD found 43 on streaming services.
The report, which did not include
reality programs such as Caitlyn Jenner's I Am Cait, called
for more racially diverse LGBT characters, which it found to be