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Survey: 81% of TV Directors Are White, Only 14% Are Female

Minorities and women haven’t achieved significant progress in directing series TV, according to a survey from the Directors Guild of America, with Caucasian directors accounting for 81% of all primetime episodes while female directors were hired on only 14% during the past season.

The DGA survey covers more than 3,500 episodes and includes broadcast, basic cable, premium cable, and high budget original content series made for the Internet.

The report also showed that Caucasian males directed 69% of all episodes; minority males directed 17%; Caucasian females directed 12% and minority females directed 2% of all episodes.

The 14% figure for female directors matches the number for the 2012-13 season.

“Unfortunately, it can be shockingly difficult to convince the people who control hiring to make even small improvements to their hiring practices,” said DGA president Paris Barclay. “But the end result is something worth fighting for. This should matter to all of us, as a culture, as an industry, and as directors.”

Barclay is the executive producer and principal director of FX’s “Son of Anarchy.” He’s directed over 135 episodes of TV, including segments for “NYPD Blue,” “ER,” “The West Wing,” “CSI,” “Lost” and “The Shield.”

“People often say, ‘everybody is responsible for diversity,’ but in the end, that often means that nobody takes responsibility,” he added. “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.”

The report listed 23 shows that did not employ any women or minorities during the 2013-14 season including HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire,” HBO’s “Eastbound and Down,” FX’s “Fargo,” NBC’s “Hannibal,” TV Land’s “Hot in Cleveland,” ABC’s “Mixology” and ABC’s “Resurrection.”

The report also listed 31 series with at least 50% of the episodes directed by women or minorities including VH1’s “Single Ladies,” Lifetime’s “Drop Dead Diva,” CBS/Warner Bros. “Mike and Molly,” Showtime’s “Homeland,” CBS’s “The Good Wife” and ABC/Fox’s “Modern Family” (Emmy winning “Modern Family” director Gail Mancuso is pictured above).

 

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