December 15, 2000
Directors Guild President Jack Shea today (Dec 13) released the Guild's annual report on women and minority hiring, commenting that "the report reveals that industry employers have consistently failed to hire women and minorities in numbers that demonstrate any true commitment to the encouragement of diversity in the directorial team."
The new report tracks the number of total days worked by DGA women and minorities as a percentage of the number of total days worked by all DGA members in 1999. Those numbers are compared to each preceding year since 1986. In addition, the report tracks women and minority membership statistics.
"The employers have repeatedly promised to do everything they can to provide more opportunities for women and minorities to establish their careers as members of the directorial team," noted Shea. "This report clearly shows they are not actively pursuing the fulfillment of that promise.
"The Guild itself has no barrier to membership," said Shea. "Until the industry begins to hire women and minorities in greater numbers thereby increasing their share of the employment pool _ the diversity of the directorial team will continue to languish."
The percentage of minority members entering the DGA each year has remained stagnant at an average of 12.6% for the past 5 years, a figure less than half of the 28.6% minority share of the American population calculated by the U.S. Census Bureau.
The Census Bureau figure for women as a percentage of the U.S. population is 51.1%, while in 1999 the percentage of women members entering the DGA was only 26.6%. This represents the lowest percentage of women members entering the DGA since 1995, and the second consecutive year of a decline.
"The DGA is committed to doing everything possible to encourage a diverse membership," commented DGA National Executive Director Jay D. Roth. "If the industry were truly committed to diversity, the growth of the women and minority membership would be more commensurate with the diversity of the U.S. population as a whole."
The DGA report monitors Guild employment for theatrical film, film television and tape. Employment percentages for women and minority directors declined in several areas during 1999. For example:
· DGA women film directors worked 7.4% of the total days worked by Guild directors during 1999, down from 8.5% in 1998. DGA women non theatrical film directors worked 8.3% of the total days worked by Guild directors during 1999, down from 9.7% in 1998; DGA women theatrical film directors worked 6.1% of the total days worked by Guild directors during 1999, down from 6.3% in 1998.
· DGA African-American tape directors worked 2.5% of the total days worked by Guild directors during 1999, down from 6% in 1998. This is the lowest employment level for DGA African-American tape directors since 1990.
· DGA Latino directors suffered a decline in the percentage of total days worked in both film and tape. DGA Latino film directors worked only 1.1% of total days worked by Guild directors in 1999, down from 1.9% in 1998, and DGA Latino tape directors worked 2.7% of total days worked by Guild directors in 1999, down from 3.7% in 1998.
· DGA minority tape directors worked 7.1% of total days worked by Guild directors in 1999, down from 11.4% in 1999. This is the lowest employment level for DGA minority tape directors since 1995.
"Among other initiatives, the DGA this year hosted several `Making Diversity Work' mixers sponsored by ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX," said Roth. "Their representatives assured DGA members that things are changing at the networks - that the networks are now fully committed to improving diversity in the industry. We hope to see those promises reflected in next year's statistics. We urge all industry employers to follow suit and to make a firm commitment to providing equal employment opportunities for women and minority directorial team members."
In film, the percentage of total days worked by DGA African-American directors rose from 4.2% of the total days worked by Guild directors in 1998, to 5.4% in 1999. This gain was more than offset by the marked decline in total days worked by DGA African-American directors in tape from 6% in 1998, to 2.5% in 1999.
Offering some small hope in the overall dismal 1999 statistics is an increase in the percentage of total days worked by women tape directors the percentage of total days worked by DGA women tape directors increased from 15.8% in 1998, to 22% in 1999.
"These disappointing employment figures only serve to strengthen the DGA's commitment to leveling the playing field for women and minorities in all Guild categories," DGA First Vice President Martha Coolidge said. "The report should serve as a wake-up call to industry employers that they must heighten their efforts to provide equal employment opportunities for women and minority DGA members."