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Directors Guild Reports Gains in Diversity in Television Directing Jobs

Women and directors of color posted record levels of employment in episodic television directing jobs during the past TV season, the Directors Guild of America reports.

The percentage of episodes directed by women rose to 25% of all episodes, and the percentage of episodes helmed by directors of color increased to 24% of all episodes. African-Americans (male and female) directed 13%, the same as the year prior; Asian-Americans directed 6%, up from 5%; Latinos directed 5%, up from 4%; Caucasians directed 76% of all episodes, down from 77%; and men directed 75%, down from 79%.

DGA president Thomas Schlamme said the survey showed that networks need to do more.

“It’s encouraging to see that the compass is pointing in the right direction, yet progress is mixed,” he said. “The bright spot here is that the doors are finally opening wider for women, who are seeing more opportunities to direct television. But it’s disappointing the same can’t be said for directors of color. The studios and networks who do the hiring still have a long way to go, and we are committed to continuing this important fight.”

The DGA’s annual episodic TV director inclusion report, released on Wednesday, analyzed nearly 4,300 episodes produced in the 2017-2018 television season, down from the all-time high of nearly 4,500 episodes in the prior season.

Asian-American directors helmed nine more episodes than in the 2016-17 season, and Latinos directed 12 more episodes. African-Americans helmed 14 fewer episodes, and Caucasians directed 235 fewer episodes. Women directed 131 more episodes than in the 2016-17 season, while men directed 339 fewer episodes.

Disney/ABC held the top spot in terms of hiring diverse directors, with 51.7%, followed by Twentieth Century Fox with 47.8%, Lionsgate at 47.5%, and CBS at 46.8%. Those were followed by Paramount, HBO, NBC Universal, Warner Bros., Sony, Netflix, Amazon, and Viacom, which had the lowest figure at 30.5%.
The report comes less than two months after the DGA found that women and minorities had seen significant gains among first-time directors in episodic television. The study of the 2017-18 season, released in August, showed 31% (63) of first-time hires in the 2017-18 season were directors of color — an increase from 27% in the 2016-17 season — 41% (82) of first-time hires were women — up 33% from the prior season — and 13% (27) of first-time hires being women of color, for a 9% gain.

READ FULL DGA REPORT HERE

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