MTV is the first channel to receive an "excellent" grade from GLAAD's annual Network Responsibility Index for LBGT representation. Too bad its low ratings mean it won't be evaluated next year! On the other end of the spectrum, CBS sucks.
The study measures not just the number of impressions in primetime television programming in the season ending in May 2010, but also the "quality" of the storyline and the ethnic and racial diversity of the characters. MTV, for example, had 207.5 total hours of original primetime programming, 42% including LBGT themes or characters, and they scored high for diversity.
CBS — which just happens to be the network that made abusive Charlie Sheen the highest-paid actor on television — has gotten a failing grade for the third year in a row. When the channel did feature "LGBT impressions," it was because reality shows like The Amazing Race and Big Brother managed to cast gay people. The report notes, "CBS had no LGBT series regular characters on any of its original scripted programs."
Here's the full breakdown:
There are some fascinating details in the report about racial and ethnic diversity: CW, which was created from the merger of two networks known for African American-oriented programming, "led the broadcast networks in racial and ethnic diversity with majority non-white LGBT representations. Of its 429 LGBT impressions, 234 (55%) were of non-white LGBT characters: 135 (32%) were African American, 95 (22%) were Latino/a and 4 (1%) were multi-racial." But ABC "continues to feature overwhelmingly white LGBT characters."
Overall, says the report, "The most common area of improvement among broadcast and cable is diversity. It is clear from our findings that gay white men still dominate the television landscape on the broadcast networks."