After Transphobic Tweet, Network Receives High Marks For LGBT Representation

It's taken a long time for television to evolve to the point where LGBT characters don't appear as just caricatures or tokens of diversity. Little by little, the heteronormative bias has started to break down. Finally.

Shows like Orange Is the New Black, Empire, Transparent, The Fosters, and Pretty Little Liars have helped pave the way, and commendations for the networks that created and produced them are beginning to surface. Today, GLAAD announced that ABC Family and Fox both rated highly on the organization's Network Responsibility Index, Variety reports. The scores speak to the quality and diversity of LGBT representation on network series.

While we definitely agree that ABC Family and Fox are both making major headway, that doesn't mean that either network is perfectly managing their reputation when it comes to transphobic attitudes.

Last week, ABC Family released a Pretty Little Liars tweet that read: "He. She. It. Charlotte." Twitter users were immediately incensed by the use of the word "it," and trans advocates quickly stepped forward to lambast the network for its faux pas. ABC later clarified the text, asserting it was a quote from the series — but the damage was already done. You can't un-pee in a pool, as the adage goes.

Which isn't to say that ABC Family doesn't deserve GLAAD's recognition in regards to PLL: It definitely does. But let this be a lesson in how quickly hard work can be undone. Sometimes, all it takes is one poorly considered comment to make a community question whether or not you're true to your purported ideals.

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