November 13, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — The pro-LGBT pressure group GLAAD released its annual report on the state of LGBT “representation” in television last week, and while it found a rise in prime-time depictions of homosexual and transgender characters, it’s demanding that Hollywood double its efforts so that a fifth of regular primetime characters are LGBT five years from now.
“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 reports, meeting an expectation set by the group last year and marking the “highest percentage of LGBTQ regular characters GLAAD has counted on primetime scripted broadcast programming.”
That means that prime-time “representation” is more than double Gallup’s 2017 estimate that 4.5% of the U.S. population identifies as LGBT. (GLAAD cites a survey it did with Harris that supposedly found that 20% of Americans aged 18–34 are LGBT.) 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 LGBT population will further contribute to widespread misconceptions. Gallup reported in June that Americans greatly overestimate the LGBT share of the population, wrongly assuming almost a quarter of the population to be homosexual.
While LGBT “representation” is steadily rising on American television, GLAAD has complained for years about the lack of gay characters and themes in major movies, as well as pushing for more LGBT 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 LGBT activists has yielded reductions in the share of Americans aged 18–34 who qualify as LGBT “allies.”