The Director's Guild Of America's Annual Diversity Report Reveals Some Troubling & Sadly Unsurprising Information About The State Of Diversity In Hollywood
In case you needed more of a reason to shake your head at the state of diversity in Hollywood, here you go: The Director's Guild of America, the union that represents directors for both film and television, has released their Annual Director's Guild Of America Diversity Report, and the results are staggering. It's no secret or surprise that Hollywood is a mostly all-white boy's club — but still, seeing the date laid out isn't pretty.
For some context, the DGA study looked at 3,900 television episodes produced in the 2014-2015 network television season and the 2014 cable television season, pulled from a total of 270 series. (Side note: Who knew we had that many series?)
The biggest takeaways, as highlighted by the DGA, were:
• Women directed 16 percent of all episodes, an increase from 14 percent the prior year.
• Minorities (male and female) directed 18 percent of all episodes, representing a one percent decrease over the prior year.
It's not all bad, for what it's worth. Among the "Positive Trends," as revealed in the study, is that there was a 10 percent increase in episodes produced. In the 2013-2014 season, "only" 3,562 episodes were made, but this year, there have been 3,910. "With that expansion came more directing jobs for women, who directed 620 total episodes representing a 22% year-over-year growth rate," it says. "Additionally, the total number of individual women directors employed in episodic television grew 16 percent to 150."
While this is all well and good, though, it doesn't erase the fact that there are clearly still serious diversity problems in Hollywood. Here are the biggest takeaways from the study, all of which are cause for concern:
White Men Are The Overwhelming Majority When It Comes To TV Episodic Directors
It really doesn't get any clearer than that.
Most First-Time Directors Were White Men, Too
It's frustrating enough that the existing establishment is white and male — but the fact that, based off of this date, producers and studios seem more likely to take chances and give white men these new opportunities suggest that issues of diversity in Hollywood have a long way to go before they're rectified.
A Total Of 27 Shows Had NO Female Or Minority Directors
This is unacceptable.
A Total Of 61 Shows Had Fewer Than 15 Percent Of Episodes Directed By Women Or Minority Directors
That GIF, up there? Literally me right now.
Three Shows Were 100 Percent Directed By Women Or Minority Directors
You go, Being Mary Jane, The Game, and Single Ladies. I am proud of all of you.
A Total Of 57 Shows Had At Least 40 Percent Of Their Episodes Directed By Women And Minority Directors
Special shout-outs to Empire, Pretty Little Liars, Fresh Off the Boat, Faking It, Modern Family, Veep, The Fosters, Jane the Virgin, and Girls.
The DGA Is Making Efforts To Change
At the very least, change could be on the horizon. "We seek to wield our influence and utilize our collective bargaining power, relationships and resources to try to change industry practices," the study reads. "Currently, we employ a four-pronged approach to advance the issue: (1) engage with industry decision-makers; (2) negotiate with employers; (3) develop networking, career enhancement and training opportunities; and (4) report back to the industry."
While the promise is all well and good, change needs to happen sooner rather than later — so let's hope we can see some results soon.