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New DGA survey highlights TV's continuing struggle with diversity

September 14, 2011 |  3:28 pm


The continuing lack of diversity in prime-time television was highlighted with the release of a Directors Guild of America survey that cites a troubling trend in the hiring of minority and female directors.

The survey conducted by the DGA of more than 2,600 episodes of 170 scripted series on broadcast and cable during the 2010-11 season found that white males directed 77% of all episodes, and white females directed 11% of all episodes. Minority males directed 11% of all episodes, and minority females directed 1% of all episodes. 

Leaders of the guild, which has traditionally pushed for more inclusion of women and minorities, expressed disappointment with the findings,  which show little change from a similar survey of the 2009-2010 season.

As Company Town notes, Nine shows singled out by the DGA as shutting out minority and female directors include HBO's "Bored to Death," Showtime's "Weeds" and FX's "Justified." Sixteen other shows hired women and minorities for fewer than 15% percent of episodes.

The survey comes a few weeks after the revelation of claims by advocates who say there are indications that NBCUniversal, which pledged to increase diversity in front of and behind the camera, has fallen short of those pledges that were made during the process of merging NBCUniversal and Comcast.


DGA gives TV producers failing grade on hiring women, minorities

Concerns about lack of minorites in NBC's family

-- Greg Braxton

Photo: Zach Galifianakis and Jason Schwartzman in HBO's "Bored To Death," one of the series cited by the Directors Guild of America as hiring no minority or female directors. Credit: Paul Schiraldi