The latest version of GLAAD’s Network Responsibility Index focused on 15 networks that produced content during the 2013-2014 programming year—and for the first time in the report’s history, three different networks earned “Excellent” ratings for their commitment to diversity.
HBO, ABC Family, and MTV are all leading the pack in satisfying increasing consumer demand for diverse media content.
And Fox became the highest-scoring network in television history, with 42 percent of its programming hours featuring positive LGBTQ representations.
But now that this goalpost has been reached, GLAAD is upping its standards. Next year, in order to receive an “Excellent” rating, networks must feature “significant transgender content”—a move the organization is making in direct response to the overall lack of representation of trans characters, something this year’s report focused on significantly.
What explains the difference? In part, it’s because American teen shows absurdly have high stakes—instead of dealing with the lives of typical teens, the teens on these shows deal with murder, huge amounts of money, and supernatural love stories. The British teen shows, on the other hand, are steeped in the mundane, with teens sorting through realistic problems of regular life.
Gilmore Girls marks one of the few series that’s dominated by female characters, and is specifically about the lives of women, not the men around them. While love interests and male characters flutter around Rory and Lorelai, the Deans and the Lukes, they’re not the center of the drama.