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Emmys 2019: Writing, Directing Nominations Far From Parity

While big name television writers and directors including Amy Sherman-Palladino and Ava DuVernay saw Emmy nominations this year, overall, the state of parity in such behind-the-scenes nods is far from being achieved.

Looking closely at the directing fields for scripted series this year, the drama category is 75% male and 25% female nominees, while the comedy category is made up of 83.3% male and 16.7% female nominees.

Since “The Handmaid’s Tale” had a few episodes of its second season that missed the cutoff for last year’s Emmy eligibility, the Television Academy ruled they could compete this year. Director Daina Reid’s nomination for her work on “Handmaid’s Tale” helped boost the numbers for parity in best directing for a drama series, but didn’t do anything to help racial inclusion in that category.

All of the directing nominees in the comedy and drama categories are white. Limited series/TV movie director nominees are a bit more inclusive with 66.7% male and 33.3% female, and the same split for white and non-white nominees.

For best writing, the drama category breaks down as 77.8% male and 22.2% female nominees, all of whom are white. “The Handmaid’s Tale” also helped here, with Kira Snyder sharing a nom with showrunner Bruce Miller.

Meanwhile, limited series/TV movie writing is comprised of 88.9% male and 11.1% female nominees, although 77.8% are white and 22.2% are non-white. Comedy writing is the only category that actually passed parity here, thanks to Phoebe Waller-Bridge and the “Russian Doll” and “Pen15” teams, with 61.5% female nominees (41.7% male). However, only 8.3% of nominees are non-white.

Compared to last year, these numbers still show slight improvements in important areas. In 2018, the drama directing category included only 12.5% women, while the comedy directing category included only 14% women nominees. There were no women who were nominated for directing in the limited series/TV movie category last year.

Writing categories followed a similar pattern in 2018 with 11% women drama nominees, 43% women comedy nominees and no women nominated in limited series/TV movie.

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