The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) has just released their “Network Responsibility Index” (NRI) for 2015, giving their top rating of “Excellent” to both Fox and ABC Family. The rating index ranks the portrayal of LGBT characters by various broadcast and cable networks.
According to GLAAD’s rating system, 74% of ABC Family’s shows included LGBT characters, while 45% of Fox shows included an LGBT character. Apparently, the other networks weren’t nearly as gay.
GLAAD took special note that Fox shows like “Empire” featured LGBT minority characters. Meanwhile, 80% of ABC Family’s LGBT characters were lesbians, including one of the lead characters on their hit show “Pretty Little Liars,” a show aimed at teens and preteens. ABC Family was originally founded as The Family Channel by Christian evangelist Pat Robertson, who sold it in 1998.
However, all is not well in Rainbow Land. As they released a report praising ABC Family, GLAAD criticized them at the same time, as a recent episode revealed that a transgendered character had a mental illness and was a murderer. The character (shown in the photo above) was born a boy, transitioned to a girl, changed her identity, and later dated her own brother. GLAAD and gay rights supporters were totally butthurt over it, calling the plot point transphobic. According to GLAAD, members of the LGBT community cannot be flawed in any way, and must be portrayed positively.
It appears in the quest for LGBT equality, some are more equal than others.