The following piece is an assignment for Media and Culture class. The assignment was to follow an aspect of popular culture and keep a blog account each week. I chose to write my entries on American television dramas; I focused on that of the ABC medical drama, Grey’s Anatomy.
Grey’s Anatomy has always been known to push the social envelope, and tackle subjects. In regards to the lesbian and gay communities, Grey’s Anatomy has been one of the many television series to address the issue regarding acceptance in society.
Typically, when a patient is admitted into Grey-Sloan Memorial Hospital, they come in with more than just physical impairments. Other than open wounds, brain tumors, and missing limbs (and the list goes on!), they also come in with mountains of personal struggles and emotional baggage.
Grey’s Anatomy has no issues when it comes to taking controversial topics such as these, being as the show’s writers constantly include characters who identify as gay, lesbian, transgender, and bisexual. These characters including show regulars such as Arizona Robins and Callie Torres, as well as short lived characters and special guests including Dr. Erica Hahn, Firefighter Charlotte, and Dr. Lauren Boswel, as well as a number of patients all from different religious and cultural backgrounds, and of different ages.
Other than the general usage of characters in the show, Grey’s Anatomy also makes sure to include some of the constant struggles that these characters deal with, including acceptance of themselves and acceptance from society.
According to top critics at Xfinity, Grey’s Anatomy features some of the media’s top representation in the media! In fact ABC networking in general has been doing a better job with featuring gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender characters. With shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, an estimated 33% of ABC prime-time hours were classified as including these minorities.
Media’s Portrayal of Gay and Lesbian Couples
Since the cast of Grey’s Anatomy is made up of more women than male, lesbian women are portrayed much more than gay men.According to an article in “The Guardian”, 1 in 5 people are unhappy with the way that gay and lesbian individuals are portrayed in the media.
Although the American public estimated that around 25% of the American population identifies as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender in 2011, statistics show that a more accurate estimate totals in around 3.8%. However, according to a study done by the National Bureau of Economic Research, the number is closer to 20%.
Regardless of the exact number, it is important for shows such as Grey’s Anatomy to show minority groups including these.
For All You Haters Out There…
In response to those consumers who don’t accept these minorities in society as well as in the media, writer Shonda Rhimes says, “If you don’t like my shows, don’t watch!”