Gay on Television: Does Hollywood shape the way we view controversial issues? by Sierra Pruitt

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Now more than ever, there has been an increase of gay characters on television. Not only an increase in characters but also an increase in television ratings. Television shows like “Modern Family” thought that they would go down in ratings because of their gay characters.

 

Does this mean that television has changed the way people think about the gay community?

 

In the World English Dictionary ideology is define as, “a body of ideas that reflects the beliefs and interests of a nation, political system, etc. and underlies political action.” Ideology is a huge factor in the television world and recently in today’s shows. The industry knows that the topic of being gay has been controversial since the dawn of time, but what will they do with that controversy? “Perhaps wary of being perceived as moralizing, producers and writers in Hollywood — a predominately liberal town — say that the viewer support of gay, lesbian and transgender characters is just a happy byproduct of their storytelling” (The New York Times 1). Knowing that Hollywood is liberal, they show a one-sided belief to the audience and portray gay characters in a way of charisma. As we watch more and more of modern television, we have been given the ideology of how to view certain issues. Just as the industry would glamorize the white race, or other stereotypes that are present. With an ideology force fed in television, Americans agree with Hollywood without consciously knowing it. Let me clarify, the statement I make is not an attack on the way that the television industry works nor on the gay community, but I was relating the way we think about controversial topics that float around in society today and it should be looked at further. There are many people with different views on heavy topics and we are only seeing one of those views on television. Have you changed the way you think about the gay community because of television? Has your view about controversial topics changed because of the information given to you from television shows?

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