SyFy Channel responds to GLAAD’s “F” grade, promises more diversity

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syfylogoThe SyFy Channel (formerly Sci-Fi)  responded to  GLAAD’s Network Responsibility Index which gave the network a failing grade, promising to try harder to increase diversity in its original programming.

A GLAAD rep told that Syfy’s grade was based on the fact that there were only two gay characters appearing on the network’s programming during the timetable of the study — Eureka‘s Vincent and Battlestar Galactica‘s Gaeta — and the latter’s sexual orientation was never directly addressed on the show. Instead, it was only referred to in a webisode.

Looking ahead, however, Syfy’s [executive vice-president] Stern touts two new series and the diversity depicted within.

“On Stargate Universe, one of the main female characters, we discover, is a lesbian and has a wife at home. It’s a pretty important facet of who that character is,” he says. ER alum Ming-Na plays intergalactic diplomat Camille Wray, while 24‘s Reiko Aylesworth recurs as her wife.

Similarly the Galactica prequel spin-off Caprica has at least two main characters depicted as being in gay relationships. “[One] is a ‘goodfella’-type, and we discover in a nonchalant way that he is gay, with a husband,” Stern says. “It was very interesting to me to take what is traditionally a very heterosexual role in an organization that we think of as being extremely homophobic, and put a gay character in that world in a very normalized way.”

NBC, CBS, A&E and TBS also received failing grades for lack of diversity but have refused to comment. HBO and Showtime received the highest ratings.

As a longtime science fiction geek, it will be good to see more of us represented in the Final Frontier. J.J. Abrams, are you listening?

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Post by ILO on 07/29/09 at 4:50 pm