Director’s Guild of America Reports Increase in Female and Minority TV Directors

“Studios and networks who do the hiring still have a long way to go,” says DGA president Thomas Schlamme

70th Annual Directors Guild Of America Awards - Show
Getty Images

The number of female and minority directors in television has increased from last year, according to a new report from The Directors Guild of America which analyzed the 2017-2018 television season. The report analyzed nearly 4,300 episodes (with pilots excluded) produced in that time frame.

In the latest report, 25 percent of TV episodes were directed by women, which is up from 21 percent in the 2016-2017 season. And while directors of color were up overall, the number of African American directors remained at 13 percent against the previously recorded year.

Other diversity statistics reflected the overall increase, though those are incremental: Asian-Americans directed six percent of episodes, up from five percent last year and Latinos directed five percent, up from four percent last year. Men directed four percent fewer episodes and Caucasians directed one percent fewer episodes.

“It’s encouraging to see that the compass is pointing in the right direction, yet progress is mixed,” said DGA president Thomas Schlamme. “The bright spot here is that the doors are finally opening wider for women, who are seeing more opportunities to direct television. But it’s disappointing the same can’t be said for directors of color. The studios and networks who do the hiring still have a long way to go, and we are committed to continuing this important fight.”

Disney/ABC Companies jumped up to the No. 1 position when it comes to hiring diverse directors, followed by Twentieth Century Fox, Lionsgate and CBS.