- Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016
- LOS ANGELES (AP)
Hiring of minorities and women for stepping-stone TV directing jobs is lagging, according to a Directors Guild of America study.
The study released Wednesday focuses on “first break” jobs the guild called critical in increasing diversity in the ranks of episodic TV directors.
Of the 153 people hired during the 2015-16 season to direct their first TV episode, 15 percent were ethnic minorities - a hiring rate that has remained flat over the past seven seasons, the annual study found.
For women, there was a slight upward trend in hiring, but it was part of a fluctuation since 2012 that falls within the same stubborn range, the guild said.
Within the last three years, for example, hiring of first-time female directors fell from 23 percent to 16 percent and then returned to 23 percent, researchers found.
“To change the hiring pool, you have to change the pipeline. Year after year when we put out our TV director diversity report, the media and public are stunned that the numbers remain virtually the same,” Bethany Rooney, co-chair of the DGA Diversity Task Force, said in a statement.
“To change the hiring pool, you have to change the pipeline. Year after year when we put out our TV director diversity report, the media and public are stunned that the numbers remain virtually the same,” said Bethany Rooney, co-chair of the DGA Diversity Task Force. “But how can it change when employers hand out so many first-time director assignments as perks? If they were serious about inclusion, they would commit to do two simple things: First, look around and see that there’s already a sizable group of experienced women and minority directors ready to work and poised for success – and they would hire them. And second, they would more carefully consider these first-time directing jobs, and develop merit-based criteria for them – with an eye toward director career development. In the end, it’s all about who is a good director.”
Those responsible for hiring decisions include studios, networks and executive producers.
Looking at the period encompassing the 2009-10 through 2015-16 seasons, men represented 81 percent of new episodic directors, with women making up 19 percent, the guild said. White represented 86 percent, with minorities at 14 percent, the guild said.