Diversity Among TV Directors Rises, Fox and Amazon Lead Shift

Episodes directed by women climbed by 4 percent, ethnic minorities rose 3 percent

Diversity Report DGA

Diversity among episodic television directors has increased this past season, with episodes directed by ethnic minorities rising by three percent and episodes directed by women going up by four percentage points, the Directors Guild of America announced Tuesday.

Twenty-two percent of all episodes where directed by ethnic minorities, while 21 percent of all episodes were directed by women. Caucasians (male and female) directed 78 percent of all episodes, while African-Americans directed 13 percent, Asian-Americans helmed 5 percent and Latinos directed 4 percent.

DGA Diversity Report Graphic

The DGA’s annual report analyzed 4,500 episodes produced in the 2016-2017 television season, up from 4,061 episodes in the last season.

Minorities directed 223 more episodes this season than last year’s season, representing a 28 percent increase. Women directed 253 more episodes, which accounts for a 26 percent increase.

Twentieth Century Fox, CBS, NBC Universal and Amazon held the top four spots in the hiring of directors, with Fox taking the lead in hiring minority directors. Amazon took first place with the hiring of the most female directors, but took the second to last spot in terms of hiring minority directors.

Netflix had the lowest percentage of diverse directors of all studios.

DGA Diversity Report Graphic

“While this report, and our recent report on hiring of first-time TV directors, reflect some progress overall, there are stark disparities among the major studios that raise questions about how committed to inclusion some employers really are,” said DGA President Thomas Schlamme. “We want to make sure that every talented individual has an equal shot, and a path forward. But for that to happen, employers must expand their hiring processes to discover the world of capable directors hiding in plain sight. Frankly, it’s hard to understand why they’re not doing more. Even if all the right reasons are not enough for them, they should at least be motivated by the bottom line – inclusion just makes good business sense.”