Surprise! Report finds white male directors still DOMINATED the 2015-2016 season
It’s that time of year again! The Directors Guild of America (DGA) has released their annual report highlighting how far American television still has to go to reach parity in gender and ethnicity. By tracking hiring habits of television studios over the course of a year, the DGA is able to give a broad overview of how diverse — or not — the director’s chair is for broadcast television, basic cable, premium cable, and SVOD ( Streaming or Subscription Video on Demand).
The good news? The 2015-2016 season was more diverse than the previous year. The bad news? It was a negligible gain.
For the Diversity Report, the DGA combed through more than 4,000 episodes of television produced during the 2015-2016 network season and the 2015 cable season. All in all, 299 scripted series were analyzed. The results found that women directed 17% of all episodes, a minuscule increase of 1% over the prior year. People of Color (both men and women) directed 19% of all episodes, which was again 1% better than the 2014-2015 season. When put into easily digestible pie chart format, the discrepancy is as appalling as it sounds:
Directors By Gender
Directors by Ethnicity
Breaking the numbers down further shows growth across the board for television production. The number of episodes in a given year increased by 4%, up to 4,061. Of that total number, women directed 702 episodes, up by 85 episodes over the 2014-2015 season. Ethnic minorities directed 783 episodes, up by 89 episodes. The number of female directors employed by networks increased as well, with 183 women hired to direct. Meanwhile, the percentage of Caucasian male directors may have dropped to 67% from 69%, but the increase in episode production meant white males still increased the number of episodes they were hired to direct from last year.
Once the numbers were in place, the DGA set about ranking television studios from best to worst. The graph below show the eight largest studios and their subsidiaries and how they stack up. Spoiler alert: HBO did awful…just awful.
Looking for a more granular breakdown of who is and isn’t hiring women and PoC to direct? Head over to the DGA Diversity Report for a full breakdown of the ranking of 130 television series.