Today, ABC Family became the second network in the Network Responsibility Index’s history to earn an “Excellent” rating from GLAAD, and president Michael Riley released a statement expressing pride in ABC Family's programming and accomplishment. Said Riley:
We’re proud of our programming, and grateful for the recognition from GLAAD. We strive to reflect the rich diversity of our audience and the world around us, including the LGBT community, through strong characters and engaging, authentic storytelling. Earning GLAAD’s highest rating for our inclusive programming is both an honor and a validation of our programming’s positive impact.ABC Family set the high water mark for LGBT-inclusive hours this year, with 55% of its original primetime programming hours including some type of LGBT impression. It also contained the most racial diversity among its LGBT impressions of all networks, and it was more balanced than most between its lesbian, gay, and bisexual impressions. Following MTV last year, ABC Family is also the second network to ever receive an “Excellent” score in the NRI. Like MTV, it is a network targeted to a younger audience, including the advertiser-coveted 18-34 demographic. Polls have repeatedly shown that young people are more supportive of the LGBT community, and the ratings success of ABC Family should further demonstrate the correlation between attracting this demographic and creating inclusive programming. “Programs like Pretty Little Liars and GREEK have woven gay, lesbian, and bisexual characters into their stories in a way that mirrors the diversity of our community and the experiences of younger generations,” said Herndon Graddick, Senior Director of Programs at GLAAD. “Viewers expect to see television environments that accurately reflect what it’s like to be a young adult, and today that includes young adults who happen to be gay." GLAAD congratulates ABC Family on their high score and a year of diverse and inclusive programming. To download a full copy of the NRI, visit www.glaad.org/nri.