If it feels like LGBTQ characters are everywhere these days on TV shows and streaming sites, GLAAD just confirmed how true that fact is in their annual report.
In the 18th edition of “Where We Are on TV,” the media watchdog group GLAAD bemoaned the fact that representation of LGBTQ characters was actually down, with 596 characters on the air compared to 637 characters in the 2022 report, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The group analyzed the number of LGBTQ regular and recurring characters on scripted primetime cable, scripted primetime broadcast, along with scripted series on the streaming platforms of Amazon Prime, Apple TV+, Disney+, Hulu, HBO Max, Netflix, Paramount+, and Peacock.
GLAAD found that between June 1, 2022, and May 31, 2023, there are 139 LGBTQ characters on cable, 141 on broadcast, and 356 on the major 8 streaming sites listed above.
The piece also noted, that for the next report those numbers will drop again, with 24% of LGBTQ characters on projects that have been canceled or are in the midst of a final season. Another 35 characters will not return due to being featured on a miniseries or anthology. To break the numbers down further, of the 596 LGBTQ characters, 32 identify as transgender, with 16 biological men [trans women], 11 biological women [trans men], and five trans “nonbinary.”
The news comes following reports that woke shows like the reboot of the hit Penny Marshall 1992 film “A League of Their Own” is reportedly on the chopping block with its second and final season, THR recently reported.
The first eight-episode season aired on Amazon Prime in August 2022. The second season will consist of only four episodes. The new version promised to be as woke as ever with “queer stories,” according to the show’s co-creator Will Graham.
“There was a much bigger story there that wasn’t just about a team, but that was really about a whole generation,” Graham explained at the time. “That’s a big part of why we wanted to make it. It was just this feeling of — especially with queer stories, women of color — having a story that’s really centered on joy.”
“There were between eight and nine hundred women who played in the AAGPBL,” he added. “There were hundreds and hundreds and hundreds more who either weren’t allowed to play or played on industrial teams or weren’t in the right cities. There was just such a wealth of characters.”
“That includes straight people, queer people, people of color, you know, all the people who couldn’t get fit into the two-hour 1992 movie,” Graham continued. “I think our focus is just on telling those stories joyfully, truthfully, and in a way that resonates with the world now.”
Critics on CommonSenseMedia said the show was all “about sex” and called it “disappointing.”
“It is entirely about sex there’s barely any baseball in it,” one parent reviewer wrote. “One of the episodes starts off with nothing but sex. It should be rated R. My son is almost 18 and we watch all kinds of stuff (even rated R) so I’m not some prude. It was a great opportunity to make a quality family show, but no.”
Another series that was billed as a sequel to the classic 1988 fantasy movie “Willow” but with an LGBTQ angle has been canceled after one season, Deadline recently noted. News of the Disney+ series being canceled came two months after the eight-episode first season launched on the streaming site on November 30.
Series producer Jonathan Kasdan previously spoke about the decision to include a “queer” romance between two female characters on the show that’s rated TV-14, as previously reported.
“What’s interesting is — I hope and I believe we’re at a moment where you’re going to see a paradigm shift in that,” Kasdan said. “And hopefully, the way that it’s gonna happen is that these kinds of [queer] stories, particularly like this one, that were just organic to the narrative we were telling, find their way in, and it becomes less of a surprising and unusual thing to see.”
Parent reviews over on CommonSenseMedia noted that the show was much more sexual than the previous movie and too much for their kids, which could have led to the show being given the boot.
“Very sexual compared to the original which I was able to watch with my young kids … dissapointed,” one parent wrote.
Another critic said, “Disney once again pushing an agenda. I love that they have brought diversity into the show. But they need to keep the romance out. Disney has lost focus on family friendly. I don’t like watching people make out on a ‘what seems to be’ kid friendly show. I don’t recommend this show I was super disappointed, the original was such a better version.”
While another parent reviewer wrote, “Too sexual for a kids show. Too cheesy and trying to add lesbian relationships just to add it. It didn’t even fit. It is just getting old.”
A report in Collider in January noted other shows on the various streaming sites that went woke with LGBTQ storylines that have also been canceled. One being “Paper Girls” on Amazon Prime, based on the popular fictional comic book series by the same name about four time-traveling girls. In the new show, one of the girls turns out to be a lesbian. Some noted the show was like “Stranger Things” but with gay storylines. The series aired for one season last summer before being canceled.
(Disclosure: The Daily Wire has announced plans for kids’ entertainment content.)
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