Society

TV shows foster empathy for LGBTQ+ people in Brazil, say Netflix and GLAAD

Survey indicates that 81% of Brazilians who do not identify themselves as LGBTQ+ said that series helped to improve relationships with LGBTQ+ people

"Sex Education" was pointed as one of the most successful shows in fostering empathy and representing LGBTQ+ characters. Image: Netflix
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  • Among LGBTQ+ respondents, 87% feel that entertainment is reflecting their community more accurately now than it did two years ago;
  • 85% of participants in the LGBTQ+ community said TV series helped their families to understand them better.

A new survey released by Netflix and GLAAD in Brazil found that some of people’s favorite shows are helping to foster empathy among viewers: 81% of Brazilians who don’t identify themselves as LGBTQ+ said series like Elite and Sex Education – and characters like Casey, from Atypical, and Robin, from Stranger Things – helped to improve relationships with LGBTQ+ people in their own lives.

“Given all the polarization in the world today, screen representation matters more than ever. Netflix and creators around the world have the opportunity to increase acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community through entertainment,” said Monica Trasandes, director of Latinx media and Spanish language representation at GLAAD

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“Series like Sex Education and Elite are not just great stories, they allow more people to see their lives on the screen – increasing empathy and understanding. The data prove: more representativeness accelerates acceptance.”

Among LGBTQ+ respondents, 87% feel that entertainment is reflecting their community more accurately now than it did two years ago. However, there are still some important areas to improve in telling meaningful queer stories, including narratives with LGBTQ+ parents and families, greater racial diversity and situations that address body image and LGBTQ+ relationships with family and friends. This is particularly important, as 85% of participants in the LGBTQ+ community said that entertainment helped their families to understand them better.

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The survey found that the shows and characters in which the LGBTQ+ community felt best represented and which were also the most successful in creating empathy among non-LGBTQ+ members, specifically are:

  • Casey Gardner – Atypical
  • Eric Effiong – Sex Education
  • Lito Rodriguez – Sense8
  • Omar Shanaa – Elite
  • Piper Chapman – Orange is the New Black
  • Robin Buckley – Stranger Things
  • RuPaul – RuPaul’s Drag Race
  • Theo Putnam – Chilling Adventures of Sabrina