Today is Women's Equality Day, but a new report from the Director's Guild of America seems to prove that that title is more aspirational than realistic, at least for women in the television industry.
The DGA TV Diversity Report tracks which television directing jobs go to whom, with a special emphasis on women and minorities. Especially in light of the ACLU's push for the investigation of the lack of female directors as a civil rights violation, it may not be so surprising to hear that the landscape for women directors in TV is bleak.
While the report highlights that the percentage of episodes overall directed by women is up, the segment itself is not that encouraging: 16 percent, as opposed to last year's 14 percent. Ouch.
The segment of first-time female directors is also not the brightest picture. Of directors hired for their first-ever TV directing gig, 84 percent were men, up from 80 percent last year. This is especially worrisome because it's the new blood getting into the industry -- that first job is a hard one to get, and is essential to future success. If we're not hiring new female directors, then we won't have more experienced female directors down the line.
Bummerest of all: the number of series that feature no female directors at all is up from last season. This year, 27 shows have no women or minority directors. None. That's 17 percent more than last year, a bad direction to be trending.
On the bright side, there are some series that are making a point to hire women and minorities. Hooray! Three shows had a perfect record, with 100 percent of their episodes directed by women and minorities: "Being Mary Jane," "The Game" and "Single Ladies."
Here's what rounds out the top 10 list, with the portion of eps led by women and minorities in parentheses.
1. "Being Mary Jane" (100 percent)
2. "The Game" (100 percent)
3. "Single Ladies" (100 percent)
4. "The McCarthys" (93 percent)
5. "Ground Floor" (90 percent)
6. "Empire" (82 percent)
7. "American Crime" (80 percent)
8. "Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn" (72 percent)
9. "Jane the Virgin" (71 percent)
10. "The Following" (67 percent)