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SURVEY: Democrats More Easily Influenced By TV And Film Than Republicans

1930’s Hollywood postcard.
Photo by Found Image Holdings/Corbis via Getty Images
 

On Tuesday, Morning Consult and The Hollywood Reporter (THR) released a report regarding the extent to which television and film influence Americans.

 

The poll, which was conducted from June 13-17, and broken down into every subcategory imaginable, asked 2,200 adults if, and to what degree, TV shows and films about racism, sexism, LGBTQ people, climate change, and other issues changed their perception.

There were some fascinating trends, but perhaps the most interesting was that, across every major category, Democrats were more likely to have their perception influenced by Hollywood than Republicans.

The survey asked: "To what extent has your opinion about racism been changed by a docuseries, movie, or TV show like 'Green Book' or 'Crash'?"

17% of Democrats and 4% of Republicans responded with "a lot," in contrast with 10% of all persons surveyed.

The survey asked: "To what extent has your opinion about sexism been changed by a docuseries, movie, or TV show like 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' or 'A League of Their Own'?"

14% of Democrats and 5% of Republicans responded with "a lot," in contrast with 10% of all persons surveyed.

The survey asked: "To what extent has your opinion about LGBTQ people been changed by a docuseries, movie, or TV show like 'Brokeback Mountain' or 'Modern Family'?"

15% of Democrats and 5% of Republicans responded with "a lot," in contrast with 10% of all persons surveyed.

The survey asked: "To what extent has your opinion about climate change been changed by a docuseries, movie, or TV show like 'An Inconvenient Truth' or 'Planet Earth'?"

The difference was more stark on this question. 27% of Democrats and 7% of Republicans responded with "a lot," in contrast with 18% of all persons surveyed.

The combined answers of "a lot" and "some" from all adults surveyed is telling, especially in one category: LGBTQ people. 28% of respondents said that their perception of LGBTQ people changed "a lot" or "some" due to docuseries, TV shows, and films.

With that in mind, a Gallup survey from May showing that the average American greatly overestimates the LGBTQ population makes more sense.

When asked to estimate the percentage of gay and lesbian people in the United States, 35% of respondents said "more than 25%," 19% guessed "20% to 25%," and a combined 24% put the number somewhere between 10% to 20%.

 

Only 8% of respondents suggested that fewer than 5% of Americans are gay or lesbian, which is closest to the tee.

According to a May 2018 Gallup survey, 4.5% of Americans identify as LGBT.

Gallup offers a possible explanation for the shocking overestimation, and it has to do with LGBT "visibility" in film and television:

An annual report by GLAAD, an LGBT advocacy group, found that representation of LGBT people as television series regulars on broadcast primetime scripted programming reached an all-time high of 8.8% in the 2018-2019 television season, which is nearly twice Gallup's estimate of the actual population.

 

The above percentage only takes into account LGBT characters on shows broadcast on the five major networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, The CW). Not counted in that 8.8% are cable and streaming, which feature 320 other regular and recurring LGBT characters, according to GLAAD.

Another GLAAD report regarding movies states that in 2018, 18.2% of films from "the seven major studios contained LGBTQ characters."

Even in the face of this colossal overrepresentation, GLAAD "is calling on the industry to make sure that within the next two years, 10 percent of series regular characters on primetime scripted broadcast series are LGBTQ."

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