In 2016-2017 there were 15 lesbian and bisexual characters on FOX. With TV struggling after a very deadly year in 2015-2016, the number of characters is still down from 17 last season. The number of new characters introduced is the lowest since 2013-2014, while the number of character exits (cancellations, characters written off and deaths) more than triples it, leaving only 5 alive and expected to return next season.
In 2016-2017 on CBS, there were only 5 lesbian and bisexual female characters, the lowest number since 2010-2011. Overall, CBS has a low rate of representation in general, with only 29 characters in total since 1976, when Julie Solkin became the first lesbian character on TV, and the first victim of the Bury Your Gays trope.
In 2016-2017 on NBC, there were only 3 lesbian and bisexual female characters. The network’s rate of representation has been declining for 4 seasons, with less characters introduced each season, and a large percentage of characters killed off. This year marked the lowest number of characters on NBC since 2010-2011, and the lowest number of new characters since 2011-2012.
We are raising money for Giving Tuesday: November 29th is a global day dedicated to giving back. This year, Trevor is hoping to raise funds to cover 25,000 more minutes of support to manage the rise in calls, texts and chats that they experience during the winter and holidays by November 29th.
The total number of bisexual female characters on TV since 1983, over the course of 33 years, represents 0.5% of heterosexual characters in one year. With a desire to paint a clearer picture of exactly how female bisexuality is treated on television, we have embarked on a project to create a database that will provide insight into both the quality and quantity of female bisexual representation, as well as identifying the common tropes that go along with it.
A trope is by definition, a pattern in storytelling. Lesbian and bisexual women are killed off at alarming rates, usually soon after finding happiness. TV shows don’t exist in a vacuum and each of these shows add to the trope and contribute to the overall TV landscape in the same way.
In the last couple of months the ‘Bury Your Gays’ trope has garnered a lot of attention, both within the entertainment industry and from a broader media perspective. More recently The Lexa Pledge has been joined in the conversation not only in the media but also in discussions within writers rooms and writer interviews. There seems to be a big misunderstanding regarding The Lexa Pledge and what it specifically asks for. I feel that it is important to clear up.
List of all lesbian and bisexual female characters featured on scripted broadcast TV in the 2015-2016 season. Of the 1936 main/recurring characters, only 34 of were lesbian/bisexual women – our rate of representation is 1.75%, and 13 (38%) of those are dead at the end of the season.
While not the deadliest network, the lesbian/bi characters killed on The CW this season had arguably the most impact on the fan community. The CW featured 11 lesbian/bisexual female characters, 8 of which had main/recurring roles, out of 298 main/recurring total characters. 5 of them are dead at the end of the season.
On the 18 scripted TV shows that aired on FOX, lesbian/bisexual women account for 3.3% of main/recurring characters (274 total characters, a number much lower than on other networks), and, according to Vox, 10.7% of all deaths. They are still killed at a rate 3 times higher than their appearance rate.