Television Is Still A Tough Place To Be A Woman, According To This New Study
We've seen some strides for women in the entertainment industry — Shondaland is taking over the world, There's a whole host of mostly female-centered movies and shows that totally follow the Bechdel Test, and Beyoncé exists as a woman among us. Yet, The annual Episodic Television Diversity Report released by the Directors Guild of America still reports that the number of female and minority directors currently working in Hollywood is still trailing behind, despite a very small increase from the year before. So yeah, there's those TV names we know — Ava Duvernay, Lena Dunham, Shonda Rhimes — but there's not as many as there could/should/hopefully will be some day. And is anyone really surprised?
The study, which was released on 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." This means 4000 episodes that were produced and aired on network and cable television in 2015 were measured — that's a lot of math and I find it terrifying.
Anyway, they discovered a one-percent increase of female directors from 2014 at a whopping seventeen percent. Male and female directors belonging to minorities also boasted a one-percent increase, hopped from eighteen to nineteen percent.
All the science/math/vomit-inducing gobbledigook aside, this basically just means that yeah, things are improving for women and minorities. Slowly. Year. After. Year. After. Year. And all industry women can do is take pride in the accomplishments of their peers and keep pushing for their goals until they punch their way through the glass ceiling. Slowly but surely, it's happening!
According to Entertainment Weekly, DGA president Paris Barclay believes the numbers demonstrate a “real lack of progress” by industry employers. He calls out the nepotism of Hollywood as the culprit claiming that, "the pipeline will need to change at the point of entry. 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.” I very literally couldn't have said it better myself, Mr. Barclay.
Hey, someday maybe Hollywood, television specifically, will be a better place for a woman or a minority to be. At this rate, we've only got about thirty-two, thirty-three percent to go til we're at fifty percent for both women and minority-directed episodes in Hollywood. Yay? Images: Giphy (2)