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GLAAD has released its fifth annual Network Responsibility Index and not much has changed from years past; with one notable exception. ABC Family joins MTV as the only other network to earn an Excellent rating for its programming. It just goes to show that any network can evolve.
ABC Family has its roots as a part of the Pat Robertson Christian Broadcasting Network; I don’t have to tell you that Pat Robertson is not precisely a gay-friendly kind of guy. Disney bought the network in 2001, but as part of the contract the network remains obligated to air Robertson’s The 700 Club That doesn’t seem to have stopped ABC Family from creating programs that include gay and lesbian characters and portraying them fairly and as multi-dimensional characters. According to GLAAD, ABC Family includes images and portrayals of gay and lesbian characters in 55 percent of its 103 hours of programming. Shows like Pretty Little Liars, Greek, The Secret Life of the American Teenager and Make it or Break It are all among the series’ lauded for their inclusion and portrayal of gay and lesbian characters on ABC Family.
According to GLAAD, television still needs to increase its portrayal of transgendered people, and really needs to lay off the gay men; 73 percent of portrayals feature gay males. I’m amazed Showtime didn’t tip the balance with The Real L Word alone.
Among broadcast networks, the CW earned the top spot, with 33 percent of its programming hours portraying gay and lesbian characters. CBS remains in the bottom spot with 10 percent. You can check out the full report from GLAAD here.