Out on Television tracks evolution of LGBTQ portrayals


By: AP |

Published: January 20, 2020 11:21:38 am

Wilson Cruz believes making the documentary gave him a sense of how far the medium and society has come, from invisibility to depictions across a wide number of TV programs. Cruz was asked why depictions of LGBTQ people of color lagged. For all the latest Entertainment News, download Indian Express App The narrators include Janet Mock, Margaret Cho, Asia Kate Dillon, Neil Patrick Harris and Lena Waithe. It’s also a testament to how LGBTQ people and their allies harnessed TV to tell the community’s stories, said Cruz, who along with actor-comedian Wanda Sykes was an executive producer for Visible: Out on Television. “It’s through television that we got to tell the entire society and our own culture what our lives are really like. (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP)
Actor Wilson Cruz says a new documentary on the evolution of LGBTQ depictions on television is a love letter to the medium’s power. The next step toward progress is getting additional LGBTQ creators behind the camera as writers, directors and producers, he said. Making the documentary gave him a sense of how far the medium and society has come, from invisibility to depictions across a wide number of TV programs, Cruz told a TV critics meeting Sunday. Because of that amount of authenticity, we were able to move the needle to acceptance.” said Cruz, whose TV roles include Dr. “Sam who?” Sykes said skeptically, a reference to Alice’s long-time boyfriend and eventual husband on the sitcom that debuted in 1969. “It’s a hunch.”
Before openly LGBTQ characters came to TV, Sykes said, she tried to guess at possibilities. “Pretty sure Roz is gay,” she said of a character on the 1986-92 sitcom Night Court. The five-part documentary will be released February 14 on the new Apple TV Plus streaming service. Visible: Out on Television includes an interview with Ellen DeGeneres about coming out as gay along with her sitcom character, and Adam Lambert discussing his experience as an American Idol contestant. “I don’t know why it took so long, but I’m sure it had something to do with racism,” he said, dryly. He also called for less violence toward LGBTQ characters and more fully dimensional transgender characters that add to what’s portrayed on FX’s Pose, which stars Emmy-winner Billy Porter. Hugh Culber in Star Trek: Discovery and Dennis in 13 Reasons Why. She reeled off a few other hunches, including Mary Ann from the 1960s sitcom Gilligan’s Island and housekeeper Alice on The Brady Bunch.