The marriage between the gay characters Kevin and Scotty in the season finale of ABC’s “Brothers & Sisters” helped the network win the highest praise Sunday from an advocacy group that pushes for more visibility of such characters on television.
It was the first wedding of two gay or lesbian characters in a prime-time scripted series, said the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. ABC has had other historic moments, including introducing a gay character to “Soap” in 1977, having a gay teen in “My So-Called Life” and Ellen DeGeneres coming out on “Ellen” as well as in real life.
ABC ranked highest among the broadcast networks in hours where gay and lesbian characters were portrayed, with FX topping the 10 cable networks monitored, GLAAD said.
ABC is owned by the Walt Disney Corp. and FX by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.
“We know that programming to lesbian and gay viewers is good business and these are two networks that realize the social and economic benefits of including images of our community in their programming,” said Damon Romine, GLAAD’s director of entertainment media.
FX was praised for “Nip/Tuck,” which GLAAD said had one gay, lesbian or bisexual character in every episode. “Rescue Me” had a minor storyline with a gay couple having a commitment ceremony and “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” had a transgender character.
Fox, also owned by News Corp., and NBC both had “failing” grades from GLAAD. While GLAAD was pleased by the inclusion of gay characters on “House” and the games “American Idol” and “So You Think You Can Dance,” the group didn’t like a “New Amsterdam” episode where two lesbian characters fell in love with a straight man.
GLAAD is pushing NBC to include more gay characters, particularly after the prominent lesbian doctor Kerry Weaver left “ER.”