The Directors Guild of America reported Tuesday that the number of minority and female directors increased during the 2016-17 television season.
According to the DGA 2016-17 Episodic TV Director Diversity Report, the percentage of episodes directed by ethnic minorities rose by 3 points to a record 22% of all episodes, while the share of episodes directed by women jumped 4 points to an all-time high of 21% of all episodes.
The increases comes as more content is being produced across the board. During the 2016-17 season more than 4,482 episodes were produced, an increase of 10% in total episodes compared with the 2015-16 season, and a 42% increase compared with five years ago, according to the report.
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Among studios producing content, Twentieth Century Fox Cos. was the most diverse among the top 10 largest studios, with 45% of its content directed by women and minorities, the DGA found. Netflix finished 10th with only 20.5% of its shows helmed by a minority or female director.
"While this report, and our recent report on hiring of first-time TV directors, reflect some progress overall, there are stark disparities among the major studios that raise questions about how committed to inclusion some employers really are," said DGA president Thomas Schlamme. "We want to make sure that every talented individual has an equal shot, and a path forward. But for that to happen, employers must expand their hiring processes to discover the world of capable directors hiding in plain sight. Frankly, it’s hard to understand why they're not doing more. Even if all the right reasons are not enough for them, they should at least be motivated by the bottom line – inclusion just makes good business sense."
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