The Golden Globes celebrated the accomplishments of numerous performers and creators. One group got lost in the shuffle this year, however: women directors.
Indeed, they were shut out entirely from the best film director category — which resulted in no small amount of backlash for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. The trend (sadly) continued Tuesday when the British Academy of Film and Television Arts unveiled its own all-male list of film director nominees.
But a recent report shows some progress — and signs of hope — on the television end of the entertainment spectrum. The Director’s Guild of America (DGA) found that, for the first time, half of all episodes of TV were directed by women during the 2018-2019 season.
The results of the study, released November 2019, indicate that representation for women behind TV cameras has doubled over the past 5 years. Directors of color are also far more common than in years past — they, too, achieved a new high, with 27 percent representation.
“Inclusion has been a priority of our Guild for a very long time as we’ve pushed the studios, networks and produces to do better in their hiring,” DGA President Thomas Schlamme said in a release. “While change had been glacial in past years, we’re pleased and incredibly encouraged to see the recent commitment undertaken by the industry.”
It’s not all surprising — when we did our own deep dive into diversity problems for women in Hollywood, San Diego State University professor and researcher Martha Lauzen cited TV as a more welcoming medium for women creators.
She adds that it matters because, when women are in charge behind the camera, it impacts the stories reaching audiences. In addition to seeing more female characters on screen, “films with women directors also tend to employ greater numbers of women writers, editors, and cinematographers,” her research found.
One can only hope that would mean more nominations and awards for women behind the scenes, too.