Lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people are significantly over-represented on TV compared to the general population, a study by the Creative Diversity Network (CDN) has revealed.
The Office for National Statistics states that LGB individuals make up just 2.7 per cent of the UK population, but the CDN’s annual Diamond Cut report found that the frequency of on-screen contributions from LGB actors, presenters and others was almost five times that.
In contrast, the on-screen contributions of those with disabilities was less than half the group’s percentage of the UK population.
Detailing its findings, the report – which analyses original productions produced by the five main UK broadcasters – stated that 12.6 per cent of all on-screen contributions between 2019 and 2020 were of LGB people, almost one in eight people as opposed to one in 37.
It also revealed that the number of those appearing in children’s television was particularly high, with one in five on-screen attributed to LGB individuals.
Those with disabilities, however, were described by the CDN as “very under-represented” as they constituted only 8.2 per cent of all on-screen contributions, despite making up 18 per cent of the population.
The CDN’s Fourth Diamond Cut report considered 194,744 responses concerning on-screen contributions in programmes broadcasted by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky between 1 August 2019 and 31 July 2020.
The Christian Institute’s Ciarán Kelly said the report showed a disparity in how individuals are shown on TV.
He said: “If broadcasters are as concerned with diversity as they claim to be, they should be actively recruiting – and accurately portraying – evangelical Christians.
“The number of evangelicals is rising, yet they are rarely seen on-screen; rarer still for them to be cast in a positive light.”
In the US, new figures from LGBT lobby group GLAAD showed that nearly twelve per cent of all US TV characters identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
US analyst group Gallup estimates the number of those in the country identifying as anything other than heterosexual amounts to seven percent of the population.