MTV Receives 'Excellent' Rating On GLAAD Index

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MTV became the first network in the history to receive an excellent rating in Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation's annual index.
According to GLAAD's Network Responsibility Index,  a report that maps the quantity, quality and diversity of images of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people on television, 42% of MTV's 207.5 hours of original primetime programming included LGBT-inclusive images. These reflected the reflected the ethnic and racial diversity of the LGBT community as well as a strong cross-section of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, according to GLAAD officials.
All told, GLAAD examined a total of 4,787.5 hours of primetime programming for inclusion of LGBT characters or issues on ABC, CBS, The CW, Fox and NBC from June 1, 2009 to May 31, 2010, as well as 1,227.75 hours of original primetime programming on 10 highly-rated cable networks over that span.. Each hour was reviewed for on-screen LGBT representations. Based on the quantity, overall quality and diversity of these representations, a rating was assigned by GLAAD's Entertainment Media Program to each network: excellent, good, adequate, or failing.
"It is with great pride that GLAAD honors MTV with our highest mark of excellence in recognition of the network's commitment to fair and accurate representation of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community," said GLAAD president Jarrett Barrios in a statement. "From their inception, MTV programs like The Real World and America's Best Dance Crew have offered richly diverse portrayals of gay and transgender people that help Americans better understand and accept our community."
Noted MTV general manager Stephen Friedman: "MTV is proud to be recognized by GLAAD as the first network ever to receive an ‘excellent' rating for our inclusion of LGBT people in our programming. Our audience today expects MTV to reflect their full diversity, in large part because of our rich history of challenging them to consider new perspectives. It is incredibly gratifying to be held up as an example for the industry."
Elsewhere on the cable side, a majority of the networks surveyed for the first time received higher than an adequate rating, with ABC Family (37%), TNT (34%), Showtime (32%), Lifetime (31%) and HBO (26%) all earning good ratings for the quantity and quality of their LGBT-inclusive original programming.
According to GLAAD, FX aired a significant amount of LGBT-inclusive programming (27%), but often relied on stereotypes or problematic representations of the community, while USA Network (4%), A&E (3%) and TBS (2%) all received failing ratings for their lack of LGBT-inclusive images.
On the broadcast beat, The CW, after three years in second place, assumed the top spot with 35% of its primetime programming hours being LGBT-inclusive, the highest percentage for a broadcaster, a particularly impressive mark because it offers fewer hours in the daypart.
ABC dropped to third place in terms of its percentage of LGBT-inclusive programming hours (26%), but nonetheless received a good rating because of the quantity and strong quality of its community images.
Although Fox ranked right behind The CW in its percentage of LGBT-inclusive programming hours (30%), it only received an adequate rating because of the stereotypical and defamatory nature of some of its content. NBC also was given an adequate mark because of the comparatively low quantity of LGBT stories (13%).
CBS once again received a failing rating with only 7% LGBT-inclusive hours of primetime programming, the vast majority of which came from its reality series.
The fourth annual GLAAD Network Responsibility Index was sent to programming executives at the 15 graded networks, and GLAAD's Entertainment Media Program will continue to advocate for improvements in the quantity, quality and diversity of their LGBT representations.
The executive summary and full report can be viewed online at
The 15th annual "GLAAD Where We Are On TV" report on diversity will be issued in September. This analysis will assesss LGBT inclusion, as well as the gender and race/ethnicity of all scripted characters scheduled to appear during the 2010-2011 season.