Hollywood may be making improvements when it comes to diversity, but they’re slow and still lacking.
The annual Episodic Television Diversity Report released by the Directors Guild of America shows that the number of female and minority directors currently working in Hollywood remains lagging, despite a very small increase from the year before. In other words, TV directors like Ava DuVernay, Chandra Wilson, and Eva Longoria are still very much an exception.
The study, released Monday, analyzes “the ethnicity and gender of directors hired to direct episodic television series across broadcast, basic cable, premium cable, and high-budget original series made for subscription video on demand (SVOD).” Of the 4,000 episodes that were produced and aired on network and cable television in 2015, only 17 percent were directed by women, which is actually a one-percent increase from 2014. It was also revealed that 19 percent of those episodes were directed by men and women belonging to minorities — also a small increase from the prior year’s 18 percent.
However, the charts also show that, since there was a slight growth in the total number of episodes directed between 2014 and 2015, there was an expansion in the number of directing jobs that needed to be filled. In 2015, women directed 702 episodes that premiered on network and cable television in comparison to 617 episodes in 2014. Similarly, ethnic minorities directed 783 episodes in 2015 — 89 more episodes than in 2014.
DGA president Paris Barclay, claims that these numbers only show a “real lack of progress” by employers in the industry. “There’s a long road ahead for true change to be realized — because for that to happen, the pipeline will need to change at the point of entry,” he said. “Employers will need to implement new hiring practices – from getting more people in the door and interviewing more diverse candidates, to hiring experienced directors instead of handing these jobs out as perks.”
Visit dga.org to see the results of the entire report.