When The L Word ended its six years run on Showtime, I had wondered how many of the show’s faithful viewers wanted to know if there will be more LGBT representations on TV. I still remember a few of Ilene Chaiken’s speeches she gave when The L Word was approaching its end, where she expressed her concern about the lack of representation of the lesbian characters on TV. She was full of hope that the LGBT community will be represented in a big way and not just by a few recurring secondary characters.
The L Word ended in 2009 and since then, there were many ups and downs in the LGBT representations on TV, but ultimately, things are getting better.
According to the GLAAD 2010-2011 report, “lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) scripted characters represent 3.9% of all scripted series regular characters on the five broadcast networks: ABC, CBS, The CW, Fox, and NBC. The number of regular LGBT characters on cable has also increased up to 35 from a count of 25 last year.” This is such a healthy rebound after some decline for almost two years.
GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios commented that “the increase in lesbian, gay, and bisexual characters on primetime television not only reflects the shift in American culture towards greater awareness and understanding of our community, but also a new industry standard that a growing number of creators and networks are adopting. The recent critical and commercial success of shows like Modern Family and Glee clearly indicate that mainstream audiences embrace gay characters and want to see well-crafted stories about our lives.”