The Directors Guild Of America’s (DGA) annual report on episodic TV director diversity shows that ethnic and gender diversity among episodic television directors continued to increase this past season.
The percentage of episodes directed by ethnic minorities saw a three percentage point increase to a record 22% of all episodes, while the percentage directed by women went up four points to 21% of all episodes, which is another all-time high.
When broken down by ethnicity, male and female Caucasians directed 78% of all episodes, African-Americans directed 13%, Asian-Americans directed 5%, and Latinos directed 4%.
The DGA’s annual report on the subject analysed an all-time high of nearly 4,500 episodes produced in the 2016-2017 television season, up from 4,061 episodes in the prior season.
“While this report, and our recent report on hiring of first-time TV directors, reflect some progress overall, there are stark disparities among the major studios that raise questions about how committed to inclusion some employers really are,” DGA president Thomas Schlamme said.
“We want to make sure that every talented individual has an equal shot, and a path forward. But for that to happen, employers must expand their hiring processes to discover the world of capable directors hiding in plain sight. Frankly, it’s hard to understand why they’re not doing more. Even if all the right reasons are not enough for them, they should at least be motivated by the bottom line – inclusion just makes good business sense.”
Twentieth Century Fox, CBS, NBC Universal and Amazon held the top four spots in the hiring of diverse directors, with Fox leading the way overall and in the hiring of minority directors. Amazon led in the hiring of women directors, but took the second to last spot in the hiring of minority directors.
Occupying the middle ground were Disney/ABC, Warner Bros, and HBO. While HBO was strong in the hiring of women directors, the company ranked in the bottom third in the hiring of minority directors. Sony and Viacom held the eighth and ninth spots, while Netflix hired the lowest percentage of diverse directors.
Additional highlights in the report include an illustration on the rapid growth of television production. There were 4,482 episodes in the 2016-2017 season, which represents a 10% increase in total episodes since the 2015-2016 season, and a 42% increase from five seasons ago.
The boom in episode production created an influx of job opportunities for directors. Minorities directed 1,006 episodes, or 223 more episodes than in the 2015-2016 season, marking a 28% increase. The total number of individual minority directors employed in episodic television grew 46% to 205, up from 140 in the 2015-2016 season.
Women directed 955 episodes, 253 more episodes than in the 2015-2016 season, or a 36% increase. The total number of individual women directors employed in episodic television grew 45% to 262, up from 180 in the 2015-2016 season.
For the full report, click here.