Women, Minorities Still Underrepresented as Directors: DGA Report

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%;

cinematographers/camera operators were 8%; editors totaled 5%;

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."

By Dave McNary

Film Reporter@Variety_DMcNary