Thursday, July 22, 2010

British TV Study: Gays portrayed as promiscuous and predatory

"Young people rarely see positive portrayals of lesbian and gay people on television, according to the gay rights group, Stonewall. A survey for the gay equality charity monitored more than 120 hours of programmes watched by the young. It said gay people were mainly portrayed as promiscuous, predatory, or figures of fun," reports BBC. "Stonewall said homophobic bullying in schools was unsurprising when gay people were so often depicted on TV in a derogatory or demeaning way. The report, called Unseen on Screen, says ordinary gay people are almost invisible on the 20 programmes most watched by the young. It says just 46 minutes out of 126 hours' output showed gay people positively and realistically." READ MORE

BBC 'worst for on-screen portrayal of gay people'
A Stonewall study into how gay people are portrayed in TV programmes watched by young people has found that many depictions are negative, demeaning or stereotypical. It found that the BBC – which has been plagued by controversy over its handling of on-screen homophobia in the last two years – was the worst of the four channels surveyed. The report, titled Unseen on Screen, looked at the top 20 programmes watched by people aged between 12 and 18.

Where programming depicted homophobia, three fifths went unchallenged. One 16-year-old interviewed by researchers said: "TV gives the wrong view of gay people because every storyline is about them being beaten up and discriminated against. They are never accepted by their family. In real life they just want to fit in." Lesbians were found to be particularly underrepresented on television, as 77 per cent of depictions of gay people concerned gay men. READ MORE

Gay people almost invisible on British TV, Stonewall study finds
Research published today by Stonewall has found that ordinary gay people are almost invisible on the programmes most watched by Britain’s young people. In a study of the top twenty programmes for youths, lesbian and gay people appear realistically and positively in just 0.6 per cent of them.

Just 46 minutes out of 126 hours of output showed gay people positively and realistically. Three quarters of portrayal was confined to just four C4 and ITV1 programmes: I’m a Celebrity… , Hollyoaks, Emmerdale and How to Look Good Naked. BBC1 transmitted 44 seconds of positive and realistic portrayal of gay people in more than 39 hours of output.

Recommendations included in Unseen on Screen are that broadcasters should work with Ofcom to develop guidelines to ensure more positive portrayals of gay characters. The report also recommends that programmemakers share good practice on how to develop authentic lesbian, gay and bisexual characters in continuing dramas. Broadcasters should also monitor their output to ensure lesbian, gay and bisexual representation. READ MORE


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