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Why Is ABC So Gay-Friendly?

Why Is ABC So Gay-Friendly?


With two gay-themed miniseries and its additional programming, the network appears to be the most pro-LGBT

Photo: Still from David France's 'How to Survive a Plague'

ABC, the 65-year-old television network owned by Disney, has steadily become one of the most pro-LGBT broadcasters in all the land. According to GLAAD's 2011-2012 Network Responsibility Index, 27% of ABC's programming is inclusive, the highest percentage in the network's history. And thanks to two new projects, that number may very well go up.

With the announcement that Dustin Lance Black--the Oscar-winning scribe of Milk, along with J. Edgar and the gay rights play 8--is developing a mini-series based on being gay and mormon for ABC. As yet untitled, the project will be eight hours, so probably four two-hour airings, which is a tremendous amount of air time and, ABC executives must be thinking, commercial revenue. Could you imagine ABC trying to sell this 30 years ago, or even 10?

And Black's mini isn't the only lavender-tinged project in development over there: executives also gave a green light to a television adaptation of David France's How to Survive a Plague, about the early AIDS protests led by activists like ACT-UP, activists who in their day never could dream of primetime validation.

Who said you can't teach an old dog new tricks?

Advocate Channel - HuluOut / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

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Andrew Belonsky