GLAAD Finds More Gays on Reality TV, Cable Than on Broadcast

Sep 16, 2004  •  Post A Comment

The media advocacy group Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation released its annual analysis of the fall television season Thursday. The report commended cable networks and the reality genre for diversity in terms of gay and lesbian characters but criticized the broadcast networks for the lowest number of gay and lesbian characters in scripted programming since GLAAD started tracking them in 1996.

According to GLAAD, there are six openly gay or lesbian characters on five shows on broadcast prime time this fall, with only one character new for this season (the character George on UPN’s “Kevin Hill”). The report tallied seven gay or lesbian reality show participants on five network programs, including two lesbians on CBS’s “Survivor: Vanuatu.”

GLAAD tallied 26 characters on eight shows on cable for the 2004-05 season, which includes the nine series regulars on Showtime’s “Queer as Folk.”

The group found 12 gay or lesbian reality show participants on cable, including the hosts of Bravo’s “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.”

“When you turn to cable and reality TV you see us-our lives, our relationships, our diversity,” said GLAAD Executive Director Joan Garry. “But when you turn to network comedies and dramas you’re seeing portraits of an America where gay people and families are nearly invisible. That’s not the America we live in.”