While the 2014 Hollywood Writers Report from WGA West does show that television has seen an incremental increase in diversity since the last report was published in 2011, theatrical releases have instead seen a drop in the number of women and minorities employed by the industry. The 2014 report analyzed data from the 2011-2012 cable and broadcast television schedule, as well as films released in theaters during the same period, and focuses on the employment of women, minority, and older writers in relation to their white male counterparts.
The Hollywood Reporter has a detailed breakdown of some of the report's most stark statistics, including:
- Women make up just 27 percent of television writing staffs, and only 15 percent of film screenwriters (down from 17 percent in 2009). Female TV writers earn 92 cents for every dollar that while males earn, up from 91 cents in 2009. Those numbers are worse for film, though, with women earning just 77 cents per dollar, down from 82 cents in 2009.
- Minorities' presence in TV writing rooms has increased slightly since 2009, up to 11 percent in 2012 from 10 percent in 2009, though they still remain significantly underrepresented compared to U.S. population statistics. Their employment in the film industry is still also woefully small, making up just 5 percent of screenwriters, which is on par with the 2011 report, but down a percentage point from the previous report before that
- While older writers' presence in television and film remains solid -- those between ages 41 and 50 are part of the largest employment group in the industry -- they see a steep decrease after the age of 60.
The report's author, Darnell M. Hunt, the director of the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA, said that the study is meant to both highlight the disparity between these groups and white males, and spur action to one day change that disparity.
"Before we are likely to realize meaningful, sustained change ... other industry players -- the networks, studios, and agents -- will have to go well beyond what they have routinely done in the past to address the troubling shortfalls evident on the diversity front among writers," Hunt wrote in the report. "Only then will the industry position itself to make the most of opportunities afforded by audiences whose story needs are becoming more diverse by the moment."
A summary of the report can be found here. The entire document will be released in June.
[via WGA, h/t The Hollywood Reporter]
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