ABC Family earned an excellent grade for its LGBT-inclusive programming while Fox earned the first ever top grade for a broadcast network in a new GLAAD television report released Thursday.
GLAAD’s ninth Network Responsibility Index (NRI) report, which looks at LGBT-inclusive content that aired on five broadcast and 10 cable networks between June 2014 and May 2015, gave good grades to ABC, CW, FX, HBO, MTV and Showtime.
CBS, NBC, TLC, TNT and USA all received adequate grades, while A&E and History generated failing grades for its quality, quantity and diversity of LGBT representation on television, according to the report.
Led by drama series Pretty Little Liars, 74% of ABC Family’s original programming included LGBT-inclusive impressions -- the highest-ever percentage of LGBT-inclusive programming for any network tracked in the NRI, according to GLAAD. Further, 79% of those impressions were from lesbian characters, 49% were of people of color, and the network also featured a transgender character played by a transgender actor, the organization said.
Fox, bolstered by hit freshman series Empire, featured the highest percentage of LGBT-inclusive original programming hours at 45.4%, helping it garner its excellent grade. "The ninth edition of the NRI marks the first time in the report's history that a major broadcast network – FOX – received an ‘Excellent’ as a grade," said GLAAD CEO & President Sarah Kate Ellis. "This milestone highlights real change across the media landscape – especially considering that the network received a "Failing" grade in the NRI's first two editions."
ABC produced the highest volume of LGBT-inclusive content with 258 hours, or 32% of its original programming, while The CW led all networks in the racial diversity of its LGBT characters with 38% of impressions being made by people of color, according to the report.
Ellis said the 2015 NRI report will be the organization’s last, as it concentrates its efforts on increasing the diversity of LGBT images on TV through its annual Where We Are On TV Report.