“The Directors Guild of America has released its best and worst lists of TV shows that hire female and minority directors.
Four out of the 27 worst violators — shows that had no minorities or women directing — were HBO productions, including “Boardwalk Empire,” “The Brink,” “The Comeback” and Cinemax/HBO’s “Banshee.”
The year’s top network in diverse hires was BET, which had three shows — “Being Mary Jane,” “The Game,” “Single Ladies” — with 100% minority or female directors. CBS’ “The McCarthys” came in at No. 4 at 93%. (See full list below)
Overall, female directors are seeing a modest gain in employment on television as the number of episodes directed by women rose to 16% from 14% for the 2014-15 season, the DGA report shows.
But DGA president Paris Barclay, a veteran TV director and showrunner, said much more needs to be done. “The uptick in the number of episodes directed by women — modest but hopeful — is just a drop in the bucket of what needs to be done by studios, networks and showrunners before we can begin to realize equal opportunities in television for our members,” he said in a statement.
“With so many more episodes and work opportunities, employers should seize the opportunity for diversity with their choices, especially when it comes to first-time episodic directors. Without employers making a concerted effort to bringing a more diverse mix of new entrants to the hiring pool, we won’t see meaningful and lasting change.”
Bethany Rooney and Todd Holland, co-chairs of the DGA’s Diversity Task Force, said in a statement that the networks need to step up their efforts: “We hear a lot of reasons from studios, networks and series showrunners about why they are powerless to make a change when it comes to diverse hiring. It’s time for everyone to look closely at exactly how hiring decisions are made, and for employers to take ownership and develop plans outlining the steps they will take to bring their hiring practices into the twenty-first century.”
The survey included more than 3,900 episodes produced in the 2014-15 network television season and the 2014 cable television season from more than 270 scripted series. Minorities (male and female) directed 18% of all episodes, representing a 1% decrease over the prior year…”