The Directors Guild of America will honor FX Networks with its 2019 Diversity Award — the first time in five years that the guild has selected a recipient.
The DGA announced the award Thursday. It said the award is being given for the network’s commitment to, and leadership in, inclusive hiring in DGA-covered categories –- and for the example it sets for the rest of the industry. The award will be presented at the 71st annual DGA Awards on Feb. 2 at the Hollywood and Highland Center.
“The DGA Diversity Award is a rare honor, given only when exceptional leadership in inclusive hiring is exhibited – and today, FX embodies the spirit of this special award,” said DGA president Thomas Schlamme. “Just three short years ago, FX made a promise to transform themselves from a network that trailed behind in the area of director diversity, to one that blazed a new trail. In the time since, they’ve gone above and beyond to turn words into action.”
“From CEO John Landgraf to all corners of the network, status quo hiring practices were overhauled into expansive searches for talented women directors and directors of color,” Shlamme added. “By chipping away barriers for talent to be discovered, FX not only impacted the careers of diverse directors, they also enhanced the quality of their shows. FX is an extraordinary advocate for inclusion throughout our industry, and a shining example of how an institution can change its culture. We are very proud to recognize them with the DGA’s Diversity Award.”
The DGA noted that only 12% of the network’s directors were women or people of color in the 2014-15 season. Landgraf kicked off the initiative in 2016, urging for a diversified pool of directors, and developing network resources to aid in those efforts. Hiring practices were overhauled, and the changes made a big impact. In the most recent TV season, 52.6% of the channel’s roster of directors were women or people of color.
The DGA Diversity Award has only been given five previous times in its history: in 1997 to Bruce Paltrow, John Wells, and Christopher Chulack; in 1999 to Steven Bochco; in 2000 to HBO; in 2005 to Stephen McPherson; and in 2014 to Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers.
The DGA Diversity Award recipient is selected by the guild’s Diversity Task Force and was unanimously approved by the national board.
(Pictured: Janet Mock making her directorial debut on FX’s “Pose.”)