The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) has issued a new report boasting that "TV hasn't merely reflected the changes in social attitudes; it has also had an important role in bringing them about. Time and again, it's been shown that personally knowing an LGBT person is one of the most influential factors in shifting one's views on LGBT issues, but in the absence of that, many viewers have first gotten to know us as television characters."
If network executives were honest, they'd be slamming this report. If. Haven't they routinely insisted that TV shows have zero effect on the audience? That's their constant mantra when defending sex and violence on TV. They're silent. They know exactly how much they influence.
GLAAD and The Hollywood Reporter commissioned a poll last fall that found in the past 10 years, about three times as many voters have become more supportive of "marriage equality" (31 percent) as more opposed (10 percent). When asked how television has influenced them, 27 percent said "inclusive" TV shows made them more "inclusive," while six percent were more "anti-marriage equality."
As GLAAD put it, "Telling our stories to a mass audience is an important role that television continues to play."
These cultural trend-enforcers went after the movies this summer, complaining that out of the 101 film releases by the major studios in the 2012 calendar year, "only 14 films contained characters identified as lesbian, gay or bisexual. There were no films containing transgender characters."
The silver-screen people need to catch up, they lectured: "But if the major Hollywood studios want a real barometer of how much has changed in our society and how much catching up they have to do, they need only look at what's become one of the greatest threats to their viability: television."
In the 2012-13 TV season, GLAAD found a record number of LGBT characters -- 4.4 percent, or at least double their actual percentage of the population. Fox was honored for having these characters in 42 percent of their programming hours -- although that wasn't enough for "Excellent" status, merely "Good."
There's no wonder that a Gallup poll in 2011 found that on average, American adults estimate that 25 percent of Americans are homosexual. They're getting that crazy idea from TV.
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