In my opinion, diversity is one of the most important aspects of the entertainment industry to ensure that the good and accurate stories are told from multiple points of view. Obviously I’m not talking about Sci-Fi programming in this instance, but for any TV topic dealing with realistic every day issues, this is important.
Representation matters, and when it is not accounted for, a topic or event on TV becomes less engaging. There are tons of data that have proven the more diverse a show is, the better the ratings, and for today’s topic, it’s a good indicator that this is not a trend but a movement the entertainment industry seems to be heading in.
According to a study from the Directors Guild of America, diversity among first-time television directors increased over the past nine seasons. The guild, represents more than 16,000 members within the entertainment industry.
The DGA said the study, released Thursday, focuses on first-time hiring of episodic TV directors between the 2009-10 and 2017-18 seasons. The study showed that 31% of first-time hires in the 2017-18 season were directors of color, up from 27% in the 2016-17 season and 12% in the 2009-10 season.
The study also found that 41% of first-time hires were women in the most recent season, an increase from 33% in the previous season and 11% in the 2009-10 season. Women of color accounted for 13% of first-time hires for the 2017-18 season, up from 9% in the previous season and just 2% in the 2009-10 season.
Granting opportunities is the first step in finding talent within the industry and this is an excellent beginning. the study “found that about 202 directors who had never before directed episodic television were hired by studios, networks and executive producers in the 2017-18 season. Of these 202 people, 58% were “series affiliated,” meaning they were already connected with the series in the capacity as a writer, producer, actor or crew member.” While this may decrease opportunities for those outside of the scope, its a good identifier that, in order to continue to increase diversity, making sure these series affiliated are more inclusive is a must in the future.