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DGA's Grim Stats on Director Diversity in Television: 'Our Industry Has to Do Better'

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood September 27, 2012 at 4:10PM

The Directors Guild of America's findings on the diversity of directors in episodic television are grim. Included in their analysis were 3,100 episodes of over 190 scripted shows produced across network and cable channels throughout 2011-2012. After the DGA adjusted their parameters to allow more accurate statistics for this year's report, they adjusted the prior year's results.
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Veep
0% Female or Minority Directors for HBO's 'Veep'

The Directors Guild of America's findings on the diversity of directors in episodic television are grim. Included in their analysis were 3,100 episodes of over 190 scripted shows produced across network and cable channels throughout 2011-2012. After the DGA adjusted their parameters to allow more accurate statistics for this year's report, they adjusted the prior year's results.

2011-2012
Caucasian males directed 73% of all episodes
Caucasian females directed 11% of all episodes
minority males directed 13% of all episodes
minority females directed 4% of all episodes

Caucasian males directed 76% of one-hour shows, and 69% of half-hour shows.

2010-2011
Caucasian males directed 72% of all episodes (not 77% as had been reported)
Caucasian females directed 11% of all episodes (unchanged from the 11% that had been reported)
minority males directed 14% of all episodes (up from the 11% that had been reported)
minority females directed 3% of all episodes (up from the 1% that had been reported)

DGA graphic 1

During their research in the past two years, the DGA's Diversity Task Force identified a key factor in the stagnation of the statistics: companies like to hire directors who they already know. "Our industry has to do better," says the Task Force's Paris Barclay (EP of "Sons of Anarchy," director of "NYPD Blue"). "It’s quite disappointing that so many shows failed to hire even a single woman or minority director during the course of an entire season – even shows whose cast and crew otherwise is notably diverse.  And, ‘We just don’t know anybody,’ doesn’t cut it anymore – the pool of talented and experienced women and minority directors grows every year, and too many of these qualified, capable directors are still overlooked.”

Below are their "Best of" and "Worst of" lists. Shows that have been cancelled and pilots were not included in their analysis, but they commend the following shows for their diversity in hiring: "Tyler Perry’s House of Payne" (100%); "Hung" (60%); "Hawthorne" (56%); "So Random!" (54%); "The Killing" (46%); "Eureka" (38%); "Make It or Break It" (38%); "CSI: Miami" (37%); and "In Plain Sight" (31%).

Producers are free to obtain the DGA's contact list of experienced women and minority directors to assist in their hiring decisions. See more charts below.

This article is related to: Television, TV, Directors, Women in Film, News


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