One Equal World

Network Television Might Soon Host a Lesbian Lead

Posted on: October 29, 2013

Ellen DeGeneres

A new show being developed by DeGeneres and Feldman will feature a gay main character.
Image: s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

The entertainment world is buzzing with news about a brand new sitcom being developed by gay television icon Ellen DeGeneres and writer Liz Feldman. The rumored primetime sitcom will be hosted by NBC, and will feature a lesbian main character. Feldman, who is a writer for the Ellen DeGeneres Show and the popular show “2 Broke Girls,” has collaborated with the LGBT icon before, and has a serious knack for creating comedic, honest dialogue.

This is wonderful news, and timely too, as rumors about the new show began just after the release of GLAAD’s Annual “Where We Are On TV” Report, an examination of what kind of role LGBT characters play in television. Since 2005 GLAAD has tracked and reported on the presence of LGBT characters and the visibility of the community they portray on scripted primetime programming. According to the report, in the 2012-2013 season lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender characters made up an estimated 4.4% of all scripted series.

You might be thinking that 4.4% is a markedly low number of LGBTs being represented, and you’re right. What’s even more alarming is how GLAAD explains that this percentage has actually increased since last year’s report. It’s pretty disappointing to have such poor representation and visibility for the LGBT community and allies on popular network television.

Happily, with more powerful (and gay!) television producers, writers and personalities like Ellen DeGeneres taking charge of who they want to see represented on TV, there may soon be more LGBT characters portrayed on major networks. It’s so important for the entertainment industry to properly represent the diverse array of identities that exist in real life. It may be a long time before network television hosts a slew of transgender, radically queer, gender-bending, racially diverse, and pansexual characters, but here’s to hoping that this new sitcom helps pave the way.

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