Emmy Voters Double Number of Female Directing Nominees, Thanks in Part to Beyoncé

Television Academy — and the industry — are still a long distance from gender parity in the writing and directing categories

Last Updated: July 16, 2019 @ 12:16 PM

After a year in which just four women received Emmy nominations in directing categories — a measly 8.7% — the Television Academy bounced back by recognizing nine female directors this year, or just over 18% of the nominees in all six directing categories, according to an analysis by TheWrap.

Meanwhile, women held steady in the writing categories with 34 nominations, out of a total of 165, or 20.6%. Last year, there were 33 female writers nominated, representing 21.9% of the 151 recognized.

This year’s female directing nominees include Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, co-director of “Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé” and the lone female nominee for Outstanding Directing for a Variety Special, and Amy Sherman-Palladino, who won last year for directing the pilot of the Amazon Prime comedy series “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and was nominated this year for the second-season finale “All Alone.”

Lisa Brühlmann (“Killing Eve”) and Daina Reid (“The Handmaid’s Tale”) were both recognized in the drama series category, while Jessica Yu (“Fosse/Verdon”) and Ava DuVernay (“When They See Us”) were nominated in the limited series, movie or dramatic special category.

And three of the seven nominees for directing documentary or nonfiction programs were women: “RBG” directors Julie Cohen and Betsy West as well as “Free Solo” co-director Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi.

For the second straight year, no woman was nominated for directing a reality series. And this year, no woman was among the 10 nominees for Outstanding Directing for a Variety Series. (Last year, Carrie Brownstein was one of six nominees in the category for IFC’s “Portlandia.”)

In the last decade, women had the highest representation as directing nominees in 2013, with 24%. Eight of the 33 nominees were women that year, when there was not yet a category for directing a reality series.

In the writing categories, women managed to dominate the comedy series category, earning seven of the 12 nominations (among seven shows): Phoebe Waller-Bridge (“Fleabag”), Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle (“PEN15”), Allison Silverman (“Russian Doll”) and Leslye Headland, Natasha Lyonne and Amy Poehler for the “Russian Doll” pilot.

Emerald Fennell (“Killing Eve”) and Kira Snyder (“The Handmaid’s Tale”) picked up nominations in the drama series category, while Ava DuVernay shared a nod for the limited series “When They See Us.”

The bulk of the female scribes nominated were in the writer-packed variety series category — though they still represented only 17 of the 101 nominees for work on shows like “Saturday Night Live,” “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” and “Full Frontal With Samantha Bee” — the lone show in the category with a 50/50 split among its 12-person writing nominees.