Film Forward

A New Study Shows An Increase In Female and Minority TV Directors, But There's Still More Work To Be Done

"We're seeing signs of meaningful improvement."

More first-time female and minority directors are finding themselves behind the camera of episodic television shows, according to a new report from the Directors Guild of America.

The study took a look at who directed TV episodes in the 2016-2017 season and compared it to research done in the 2009-2010 season. The DGA found that 225 "freshmen" directors were hired and that the number of first-time minority directors doubled in those eight years, whereas the number of the first-time female directors nearly tripled.


"Finally, after years of our efforts to educate the industry, hold employers accountable through our contracts, and push them to do better, we're seeing signs of meaningful improvement," Thomas Schlamme, president of the DGA, said in a press release

The news comes after women and people of color took home multiple awards home during the 2017 Emmys, and organizations like the Women's Media Summit continue to fight for equal representation in film and television.

Below are two charts the DGA compiled to show the increase in freshman directors among women and minorities.

Despite this year's increase, Schlamme recognizes that more work needs to be done to ensure that freshmen directors are given fair opportunities to move along in their careers. The statement comes after the DGA also reported that 407 of the 618 the organization recognized as "first-timers," were affiliated with the TV show they were directing –– either as actors, crew members, editors, producers or writers –– and are less likely to continue a directing career.

"If the goal is to feed the pipeline with the directors of the future, it's important that employers provide the first-time opportunities to those most likely to go on and become career directors," Schlamme said.

Read more about the report here

Cover Image: Pexels

The ways we watch TV and movies have evolved, and it's time for the talent in front of and behind the camera to do the same. Film Forward speaks on the initiatives to diversify the film industry and the stories it tells. New articles premiere every second Thursday of — and throughout — the month.


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