Nearly 1/4 of Basic Cable Episodes Directed by Minorities Are Attributed to Tyler Perry Shows

The television industry has made only slight improvements in the hiring of women and minority directors, a new report from the Directors Guild of America shows.

Women directed 17% of all episodes — versus 16% the prior year — from 4,000-plus episodes from 299 scripted series produced in the 2015-2016 network TV season and the 2015 cable season. Ethnic minorities (male and female) directed 19% of all episodes, a 1% increase over the prior year.

Those key numbers nearly matched those in a May report that was billed as a “sneak peek” to the 2015-16 Episodic Television Director Diversity Report.

Out of 299 series examined, 57 hired women or minorities to direct fewer than 15% of episodes, and 30 hired no women or minority directors at all — landing on the DGA’s “Worst Of” list.

DGA President Paris Barclay, one of the most high-profile TV directors, said the situation is unacceptable — and singled out the booming SVOD sector, where just 8% of SVOD episodes were directed by ethnic minorities, and 17% of episodes were helmed by women.

“These numbers shine a light on the lack of real progress by employers in this industry, plain and simple,” he said. “Of particular concern is the precedent being set by the fastest-growing category, streaming video. There’s a long road ahead for true change to be realized — because for that to happen, 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.”

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SOURCE: Variety – Dave McNary

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