Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Major gains for women, minorities in television directing




Major gains for women, minorities in television directing

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
DGA president Thomas Schlamme (left) during the 71st Annual Directors Guild Of America Awards in Hollywood,California on February 2. KEVORK DJANSEZIAN/GETTY IMAGES/aFP

Major gains for women, minorities in television directing

A record number of television episodes were helmed by women or directors of colour in the 2018-2019 season, according to a report released on Tuesday, highlighting major gains in an industry that has sought to be more inclusive.

The Episodic Television Director Inclusion Report covering the season said that for the first time, half of all TV episodes were directed by women or African American, Asian American or Latino directors.

The number was up from last year’s high of 42.5 per cent and from 21 per cent five years ago.

“Inclusion has been a priority of our Guild for a very long time as we’ve pushed the studios, networks and producers to do better in their hiring,” Thomas Schlamme, president of the Directors Guild of America (DGA), which commissioned the report, said in a statement.

“While change had been glacial in past years, we’re pleased and incredibly encouraged to see the recent commitment undertaken by the industry.”

The report examined more than 4,300 episodes produced in the 2018-2019 television season.

It found that the percentage of episodes directed by women grew to 31 per cent and the percentage of episodes helmed by directors of colour rose to a new high of 27 per cent.

The DGA also examined trends in first-time TV director hires for the past decade and found that women had also made great gains in that area.

The report noted that 49 per cent of first-time hires in the 2018-2019 season were women – an increase from 41 per cent in the 2017-2018 season, and 33 per cent two seasons prior.

It said 29 per cent of first-time hires were directors of colour – down slightly from last year’s record of 31 per cent, but up from the previous high of 27 per cent two years ago.

Despite the gains, however, the union offered a word of caution against the growing practice of employers offering directing jobs to non-directors on series, such as actors or writers.

“Producers hold in their hands the power to grant an opportunity that can set up an aspiring TV director for a lifelong career doing what they dreamed of,” Schlamme said.

“And while we’re encouraged to see nearly half of first jobs went to women last year, and nearly a third went to directors of colour – we still have a lot of concern over the underlying hiring practices that reduce the number of jobs available to budding and experienced directors alike.

“The heart of the issue is that producers aren’t factoring in that every job given to someone who does not pursue a directing career equals an opportunity withheld.”

MOST VIEWED

  • First Khmer woman to pass out of West Point

    The life of a soldier certainly isn’t for everyone. The training is gruelling, the hours long and there’s no room for excuses. On top of that, soldiers must be ready to respond to sudden threats at a moment’s notice. Just ask Sithyka

  • Tourists urged not to skip trip

    The Ministry of Tourism has called on international tourists not to cancel trips to Cambodia, but urged them to adhere to several dos and don’ts when arriving in the Kingdom during the Covid-19 pandemic. The ministry released an eight-point instruction manual on Wednesday published

  • The taxman cometh – Cambodia’s capital gains tax casts the net on individual taxpayers

    In a country where only limited personal income tax existed, the new taxation law beginning January 1, 2021, will make taxpayers out of Cambodians, whether they are ready for it or not About two years ago, a little known amendment was made to Article 7 of the Law

  • Cambodian-American gets Star Trek treatment

    Kevin Ung, a Cambodian-American whose family escaped genocide during the Khmer Rouge’s reign of terror, was recently selected from thousands of applicants to participate in the Television Academy Foundation’s inaugural 2020 Star Trek Command Training Programme, a course intended to give hands-on filmmaking experience

  • Cambodia seeks to be transport hub

    Cambodia is working on several fronts to modernise its transport infrastructure and services, concentrating on opening new international gates to relieve and balance traffic congestion at its borders, Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol said on Thursday. This is part of the Kingdom’

  • Deminers unearth ancient lion statue

    Cambodia Mine Action Centre (CMAC) director-general Heng Ratana told The Post on Tuesday that a statue of a lion was found by mine clearance experts while they were digging for a development project. It was sent to the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts last