White men continued to dominate the ranks of prime- time television directors in 2013-14, while the percentage of women directing broadcast, cable and other forms of TV programs remained static, according to a report released Wednesday by the Directors Guild of America.
According to the report on diversity in hiring for episodic television, 69 percent of the 3,500 episodes of more than 220 scripted series produced in the 2013-14 network television season and 2013 cable television season were directed by white men.
The percentage of minority men directing episodes rose by 3 percent — from 14 percent to 17 percent — from the previous season, but the report noted the increase was attributable solely to Tyler Perry, who directed every episode of the three TV series he produces.
White women accounted for 12 percent of episode directors, while minority women represented just 2 percent. Those figures were unchanged from the previous season.
DGA President Paris Barclay said the figures point to a continuing problem within the industry to create opportunities for female and minority directors.
“People often say, ‘everybody is responsible for diversity,’ but in the end, that often means that nobody takes responsibility,” Barclay said. “It’s time for the people who make the hiring decisions — be they studios, networks, production companies or individual producers — to stop making excuses, stop passing the buck and start living up to the country’s promise and possibility by providing true equal opportunity.”
According to the report, 23 of the 225 series that were examined hired no women or minority directors at all, while 39 others hired women or minorities less than 15 percent of the time. Among the shows landing spots on the DGA’s “Worst Of” list for women and minority hiring were “Boardwalk Empire,” “Back in the Game,” “Hot in Cleveland,” “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” “Last Man Standing,” “The Big Bang Theory” and “Workaholics.”
Shows landing on the “Best Of” list included “Drop Dead Diva,” “Mike & Molly,” “The Following,” “Suburgatory” and “The Middle.”
— City News Service