Although white men continue to dominate the ranks of TV series directors, the percentages of episodes helmed by female, Asian and Latino directors all increased during the 2017-18 TV season, according to a study released Wednesday by the Directors Guild of America.
The DGA’s annual study found that a record high percentage of TV directing jobs went to women and directors of color during the past season, although the percentage of black directors stayed stagnant at 13 percent.
“It’s encouraging to see that the compass is pointing in the right direction, yet progress is mixed,” said DGA President Thomas Schlamme. “The bright spot here is that the doors are finally opening wider for women, who are seeing more opportunities to direct television. But it’s disappointing the same can’t be said for directors of color. The studios and networks who do the hiring still have a long way to go, and we are committed to continuing this important fight.”
According to the study, which analyzed nearly 4,300 episodes produced in the 2017-18 season, 75 percent of the episodes were directed by men, down from 79 percent the previous year. The study found that 76 percent of the directors were white, down from 77 percent the prior season.
Women directed 25 percent of the episodes, up from 21 percent the previous season, while the percentage for Asian-Americans rose one percentage point to 6 percent, and Latinos represented 5 percent of directors, up from 4 percent the previous year.
Women directed a total of 1,085 episodes — with 813 of those episodes directed by white women. Directors of color helmed 1,017 episodes, an 11- episode increase from the previous year, according to the study.
Among studios, Disney/ABC led the way in the diversity effort, with 51.7 percent of its episodes directed by women or minorities. Viacom placed last at 30.5 percent, the study found.