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14:09 | 21st October 2017

News: UK

Thu 22 Jul, 2010
By Sam Bristowe


It's tragic that in 2010 broadcasters are still underserving young people in this way, particularly when young people themselves say they want to see real gay people's lives on TV

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A recent survey undertaken by LGBT organisation Stonewall, has monitored over 120 hours of television to determine how the gay community are portrayed to youths in this day and age and it has claimed to be inaccurate and following typical stereotypes.

The study found that most of the footage aired on BBC, ITV and Channel 4 actually portrayed gay characters as promiscuous and often playing up to the typical stereotypes of gays and lesbians.

The report Unseen on Screen claimed that out of the 126 hours of television over 20 different programmes, only an alarming 46 minutes portrayed gay people in a positive and realistic way.

The study showed the following facts when concerning portrayal:

• Lesbian, gay and bisexual people were portrayed for 5 hours
and 43 minutes – 4.5 per cent of total programming.



• However, lesbian, gay and bisexual people were portrayed
negatively for two hours and three minutes.

• Lesbian, gay and bisexual people were positively and
realistically portrayed for just 46 minutes, 0.6 per cent of
total programmes monitored.

• Three quarters of portrayal was confined to just four
programmes – Hollyoaks, I’m A Celebrity..., How to Look
Good Naked and Emmerdale.

BBC was scrutinized for airing just 44 seconds of positive and realistic portrayal of gay people in more than 39 hours of output, whereas Channel 4 and ITV came out on top.

• Channel 4 included the highest proportion of portrayal –
6.5 per cent of its programming. Channel 4 transmitted
12 minutes of positive and realistic portrayal out of a total
34 hours and 14 minutes of programming.

• ITV1 followed closely behind. 5.6 per cent of its
programming portrayed lesbian, gay and bisexual people.
ITV1 transmitted 34 minutes of positive and realistic portrayal
out of a total 50 hours and 3 minutes of output.

• Only 1.7 per cent of programming on BBC1 made any
reference to lesbian, gay and bisexual people or issues.
BBC1 transmitted just 44 seconds of positive and realistic
portrayal out of a total 39 hours and 30 minutes of
programming.


Stonewall chief executive Ben Summerskill said about the organisations findings: "Of course it's welcome that some of the most obnoxious unpleasantness of people such as Jeremy Clarkson is now being edited out before transmission.

"However, it's hardly surprising that there's still almost endemic homophobic bullying in Britain's secondary schools when, even if gay people do appear on TV shows watched by young people, they're depicted in a derogatory or demeaning way.

"It's tragic that in 2010 broadcasters are still underserving young people in this way, particularly when young people themselves say they want to see real gay people's lives on TV."

The BBC is reportedly now conducting its own research into how gay and lesbian people are portrayed in its programmes.

 

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