Women and ethnic-minority directors made small inroads in the television industry during the 2016-17 season, but white men continued to dominate the field, according to a study released Tuesday by the Directors Guild of America.
The DGA’s annual report reviewed nearly 4,500 episodes produced during the television season, up from 4,061 last year. The number of episodes directed by ethnic minorities increased 3 percent over the previous season to a record high of 22 percent, while those directed by women jumped by 4 percent to hit a record of 21 percent, according to the report.
“While this report, and our recent report on hiring of first-time TV directors, reflect some progress overall, there are stark disparities among the major studios that raise questions about how committed to inclusion some employers really are,” DGA President Thomas Schlamme said. “We want to make sure that every talented individual has an equal shot, and a path forward.
But for that to happen, employers must expand their hiring processes to discover the world of capable directors hiding in plain sight,” he said. “Frankly, it’s hard to understand why they’re not doing more. Even if all the right reasons are not enough for them, they should at least be motivated by the bottom line — inclusion just makes good business sense.”
According to the report, 78 percent of episodes analyzed were helmed by white directors, both male and female. Black directors were employed in 13 percent of episodes, while Asian-Americans directed 5 percent and Latinos directed 4 percent.
White men directed 62 percent of episodes, down from 67 percent the previous season.
The report found that 20th Century Fox led the way in diversity during the season, with women or minority directors leading 45 percent of episodes. Netflix trailed the field of major studios, with only 20.5 percent of its episodes directed by women or minorities.
–City News Service
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