Posted Saturday 12 Sep 2015
It's official: Woman and minorities are still lagging among first-time
directors in episodic television, a new study from
the Directors Guild of America shows. There are no surprises here if
you have been keeping an eye on this developing story for the last
year or so as we at WIFT NZ have been. The full story from Variety
Magazine carries on below....
The study, released last week found that
82% - or 501 of 611 - of all first-time episodic
directors were male during a six-year span.
Only 18% (110) were female and only 14% (83)
were minority directors. The study period covered
the 2009-2010 through 2014-2015 seasons, and
results haven't changed appreciably since the DGA
released its findings on the 2013-2014 season.
The DGA also reported that 51% of female and 42% of
minority first-time episodic television directors continued
directing on other series - significantly higher than males
at 33% and Caucasians at 36%.
GA President Paris Barclay, a prominent TV director and exec
producer on FX's "Sons of Anarchy," called on TV networks and
producers to change their hiring practices.
"You can't increase diversity in the long term without focusing on
entry into the business - we challenge the networks, studios
and executive producers who make all the hiring decisions in
episodic television to set diversity hiring goals," he said.
"It shouldn't be that hard, because we've found that when women
and minorities do actually get their first breaks, they're even more
likely to continue on in television directing than the rest of the pool."
The survey also showed that writers/producers made up 26%
of the first-time episodic director pool; actors made up 20%;
and other crew made up 6%. Only 27% of first-time hires were
individuals who had previously directed in other genres.
The remaining 8% was comprised of members of the
directorial team - assistant directors, unit production managers
and second unit directors.
"As it stands now, nearly half of the new hires are writer/producers
or actors," Barclay noted. "It may sound revolutionary, but those
with the power to hire may want to consider bringing in more
directors - people who are committed to directing as a career,
instead of approaching the assignment as a perk. There are many
willing, able, and experienced women and diverse directors out
there - we encourage the employers to reach out and hire them."