Women, Black Directors See Gains In 2019-20 Television Production

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Nearly one-third of 2019-20 television episodes were directed by people of color, and slightly more than one-third by women, but while gains in equality are being made, white males continue to dominate the industry, according to a Directors Guild of America report released today.

“It's hard enough to achieve success in the competitive world of TV directing,'' DGA President Thomas Schlamme said in a statement. “Therefore, it is vitally important that no group should be disadvantaged when it comes to developing a career. That's always been the driving force of our work to push this industry towards more inclusive hiring practices and a level playing field.

“Our most powerful tools to analyze the availability of opportunities have been these in-depth data reports,'' he said. “And while we see encouraging growth in some areas, we will not be satisfied until we see fairness for all. Inclusion is not about one group or another, inclusion means everyone.''

According to the DGA report, of the more than 4,300 episodes produced in the 2019-20 TV season, 32% were directed by people of color, up from 27% the previous season and from 18% five seasons ago. Women directed a record 34% of the episodes, up from 31% the prior season and nearly double the 16% rate in 2014-15.

A record 18% of episodes were helmed by Black directors, an increase from 15% the previous season, according to the report. Latinos directed 7% of episodes, up from 6%, while the percentage directed by Asian Americans stayed flat at 6%. White directors helmed 71% of episodes, and men directed 66%.

Sony and WarnerMedia led the way in hiring of directors of color, at 33% of all episodes, followed closely by Netflix and Disney at 32%. Paramount was the leader for women directors, with women helming 47% of its episodes, followed by HBO at 44% and Disney at 41%.

Photo: Getty Images

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