About 2 weeks ago, the Director’s Guild of America published its third statistics about hiring women and minority directors in the American television industry.
The headline reads:
The statistics analyzed more than 3,300 episodes of television in network and cable TV from more than 200 scripted television shows.
Some of us women directors know it and feel it very well. Nothing is changing. For years we tried to work on it from the inside, with education, with programs, with being ready and capable – to no avail. Now we have the numbers to prove it.
So, in the past year we started making noise inside our guild. It wasn’t and still isn’t easy. Those of us who are outspoken, who cry foul, are risking their good name and maybe their future employment in this industry. They are immediately classified as “not talented enough to break in, so they are bitching…” But look at our work; look at features done with zero money, look at great television episodes, look at the short films – They are great and they do show talent. Until recently many of us though that about ourselves. But then we came together and spoke.
There are too many of us. Too many who feel the same way for it to be a coincidence. From directors who directed very successful features, to those who are traveling around the world with their short films, and those who are trying to work as television directors – we all feel different. We all feel second class citizens.
Kimberly Pierce the director of “Boys Don’t Cry” and the upcoming “Carrie” said in a New York Times interview: “There’s a picture of me with David O Russell, Spike Jones and Alexander Payne. We’re all hanging out. I’m in the middle, and I respect these guys, and it is a boy’s club.”
All in all last year women directed 15% of the episodes. This year we are down to 14%.
Coming up: What do the numbers tell us?