Diversity nod to ABC exec

The Directors Guild of America has tapped ABC Primetime Entertainment president Stephen McPherson to receive the guild’s diversity award.

Kudos will be presented at the 57th annual DGA Awards dinner Jan. 29 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Award has been bestowed only three times: in 1997 to Bruce Paltrow, John Wells and Christopher Chulack; in 1999 to Steven Bochco; and in 2000 to HBO.

“In an industry where commitment to diversity often amounts to little more than lip service, Steve McPherson has taken action and produced substantive results,” said DGA president Michael Apted. He is a “true pioneer and one whose successful efforts — we hope — will serve as a beacon for his colleagues to follow.”

The DGA cited McPherson’s work in spearheading the ABC/Touchstone Television Directing Assignment Initiative Program with the support and collaboration of the guild. Initiative, which engages at least 10 women and minority directors, included 20 episodes in its inaugural year.

McPherson also created the ABC/Touchstone DGA Partnership for Seasoned Directors in 2002 to create opportunities for experienced women and minority directors.

“While I’m truly honored by the DGA’s acknowledgment, I have to be honest,” McPherson said. “I believe this work is a responsibility for anyone in a position of authority in our business, especially when there is still so much left to be done.”

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