This year’s Oscars was slammed for the nominees’ lack of diversity—and now the small-screen is coming under fire, too.
Over the last 13 TV seasons, staff writers have continued to be mostly white and male, according to an annual report on TV staffing from the the Writers Guild of America. That trend continues in the face of the rise of showrunners like Scandal‘s Shonda Rhimes, Girls‘ Lena Dunham and Transparent‘s Jill Soloway.
WGA has amassed over a decade’s worth of data from its annual briefs, giving us a picture of how gender and racial diversity has changed—or remained unchanged—over time. Take a look:
The report, which surveyed 2,724 writers on 292 TV shows during the 2013-2014 season, shows that 29% of TV writers during that period were female, a 2.2% increase over the last 12 years. Meanwhile, 13.7% of writers were non-white, a 4.9% increase over the last 12 years. For comparison, 50.7% of Americans are female, and 22.3% of Americans are non-white, according to the latest U.S. Census data.
“In fact, women and minorities have lost a little ground relative to their male and white counterparts since the WGA’s last report, both in terms of overall staff positions and in the all-important executive producer ranks,” writes report author University of California, Los Angeles sociology professor Darnell Hunt. “Indeed, research is beginning to confirm the common-sense notion that increasingly diverse audiences desire more diverse storytelling.”