The Women’s Media Center released its annual Emmys report Monday — WMC 2020 Investigation: Gender & Non-Acting Primetime Emmy Nominations — saying it found that a bigger pool of nominations for the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards hasn’t made much of a difference in bringing overall gender parity to the nominations in behind-the-scenes categories.
Women represented 35 percent of the nominations while men were 65 percent. Of the 2,286 people nominated for non-acting Primetime Emmys in 2020, 801 are women and 1,485 are men.
The figures represent only a small percentage increase for women compared to 2019, when the 2,383 non-acting Primetime Emmy nominees consisted of 763 women, or 32 percent, while 1,617, or 68%, were men, the center said in a statement.
“Some categories have seen progress in female representation, but most have not,” it said. In front of the camera, it looks like progress has been made for women in television because out of the top 10 shows with the most Primetime Emmy nominations this year, the majority have a female-focused storyline. Behind the scenes is another story.
“When it comes to those powerful, behind-the-scenes roles for producing, directing, writing, and editing, there has been little progress for women in non-acting primetime Emmy nominations,,” said Julie Burton, president and CEO of the Women’s Media Center. “Award nominations are often the springboard to better opportunities. Until women and people of color achieve equal status in employment behind the scenes, it is difficult to imagine these nominations representing anything near gender and race equality, nor truly reflecting the diversity of enormous talent we know exists.”
Gender parity overall remains elusive in the four top non-acting Emmy fields: producing, directing, writing, and editing. Of these four non-acting fields, producing continues to be the one getting closest to gender parity.
In 2020, 39 percent of the producer nominees were women, compared to 35 percent in 2019. There was also a slight increase in female nominees for directing: 14% in 2020, up from 11% in the previous year. However, the percentage of female nominees for writing (28%) remains unchanged from 2019. And the percentage of female nominees in editing decreased to 20% in 2020, compared to 27% in 2019.
Almost every program nominated for editing Emmys this year had only male editors or a majority of male editors, the WMC asserted.
The Women’s Media Center was co-founded by Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan, and Gloria Steinem. It is a feminist organization that works to raise the visibility, viability, and decision-making power of women and girls in media “to ensure that their stories get told and their voices are heard,” according to the WMC statement.