ABC Family and Fox Rated Best Networks for LGBT Representation
It’s been a banner year for LGBT representation on television, but some networks are doing a much better job than others. GLAAD, the media watchdog for such inclusion, announced Thursday morning that it has rated ABC Family and Fox as the most accomplished.
In the organization’s ninth annual Network Responsibility Index, which GLAAD evaluates based on “the quantity, quality, and diversity of LGBT representation on television” aired between June 2014 and May 2015, Fox became the first broadcast network ever to receive a grade of “Excellent.” That’s a big deal considering the first two years GLAAD released the NRI, Fox received a failing grade. The improvement is thanks to shows like Empire, Glee, So You Think You Can Dance, Bones and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which contributed to the network having the highest percentage of hours of LGBT-inclusive original programming for a broadcast channel (45.4%).
Led by inclusive shows like The Fosters and Pretty Little Liars, ABC Family also received an “Excellent” rating for a third time. Seventy-four percent of its original programming hours included LGBT impressions, the highest percentage the NRI has ever recorded.
As for the networks who need detention, A&E and History both received failing grades. On the latter, GLAAD was unable to identify a single hour of LGBT-inclusive programming.
In the middle of the pack, ABC, The CW, FX, HBO, MTV and Showtime all received a rating of “Good,” while CBS, NBC, TLC, TNT and USA were just “Adequate.”
GLAAD also announced that this will be the final NRI released, as the organization hones in on its “Where We Are On TV Report.”
“GLAAD’s Network Responsibility Index has helped reshape the television landscape, inspiring LGBT characters and storylines that move acceptance forward," GLAAD CEO and president Sarah Kate Ellis said in a press release. "As representations of LGBT people in the media continue to rise in number, pushing television networks to make those representations more diverse is more crucial than ever. This requires a different set of tools than the NRI provides, and as such GLAAD will shift focus to its annual TV diversity and transgender reports."