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LGBT People of Color on Television

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By GLAAD |
September 23, 2008

As part of our 13th Annual Where We Are on TV study, GLAAD analysts found that NBC leads the networks in overall racial and ethnic diversity, with people of color comprising 24% of the total series regular characters. ABC and Fox follow with 21% each, The CW with 20%, and CBS trailing with 19%.

The Offices Oscar Nunez

The Office’s Oscar Nuñez, NBC

When examining the racial and ethnic diversity of each network’s LGBT representation, the numbers shift only slightly. On broadcast television, NBC and Fox are positioned to present the highest number of series regular LGBT characters of color in the upcoming season, with NBC featuring biracial bisexual woman Carrie on Knight Rider and Latino gay man Oscar on The Office, while Fox has Latino gay man Andrew on Sit Down, Shut Up and Asian-Pacific Islander bisexual woman Angela on Bones.

Despite this increase in the number of LGBT people of color in broadcast programming, there is still room for improvement. Even on ABC, a standout in its total number of LGBT representations, Callie (Grey's Anatomy) is the exception to the rule. Out of 15 regular and recurring LGBT characters on ABC, Callie is the only one who is a person of color.

On cable, 27 series feature at least one LGBT character, but only 13 series have an LGBT character of color. The LGBT-interest cable networks, here! and Logo, are overwhelmingly white, with 86% of their LGBT characters sharing the same race.

To read our complete analysis of the 2008-2009 television season, please click here.

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