GLAAD: Where We Are on TV 2018

Every year, GLAAD does a report on where we are on TV. 2018 is no exception, and the “Where We Are on TV Report – 2018” publication was released on October 25th. Per usual, we have some big takeaways and some small concerns.

Remember, this is about US based TV for the most part.

The Good

  • 8.8% of regulars characters on broadcast TV are LGBTQ
  • There are more PoC than white characters
  • Trans and bisexual characters have increased
  • There has been an increase in male bisexuals
  • Cable TV rep is up

The Mediocre

  • Most of Cable’s uptick in characters comes from 6 shows
  • Many of cable TV’s characters won’t be back next season
  • The balance between male and female queer rep is fairly even (49% each)

The Bad

  • TV continues to underrepresent women, with only 48% of characters (compared to 51% in real life)
  • There are no new asexual characters, none on broadcast TV, and the one on cable is on a canceled show
  • Lesbian representation has not picked up since 2016, which was when the recent record highs of Bury Your Queers kicked in
  • A high number of streaming shows with rep were canceled

What This Means

In general, things are looking better. We’re on track for a more ‘normal’ number of deaths (I predict around 25 characters for 2018 vs the 40s from 2016-17) and we absolutely have more people of color as queers. Black and Latinx representation is well up, finally, and while it absolutely could be better, it’s nice to see improvements.

Similarly, Univision is reporting that more Spanish language shows will include LGTBQ characters. Given that Mexico and Spain had two of the worst death rates until recently, it’s a positive thing to see it moving ahead.

Finally, in this year’s report, GLADD threw down:

GLAAD is calling on the industry to make sure that within the next two years, 10 percent of series regular characters on primetime scripted broadcast series are LGBTQ. This is an important next step towards ensuring that our entertainmentreflects the world in which it is created.

Sarah Kate Ellis President & CEO, GLAAD

Please read the GLAAD report and get up to speed with the changing landscape of queers on your TV.

About Mika A. Epstein

Mika has been deep in fandom since she could say 'Trekkie.' With decades experience in running fansites, developing software, and organizing communities, she's taken on the challenge of delving into the recesses of television for queers long forgotten. Making this site with Tracy is nothing short of serendipity. Mika lives with her wife and their cats in Southern California. Of course she has a hybrid, but she'd rather ride her bicycle.

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