According to a new study by the Writer's Guild Association (WGA), most jobs go to white guys in their 40s.
In the multi-billion dollar film industry it may look as though everyone has a fair shot at making it to the top. However, as Deadline
pointed out, the number of jobs for women, minority and older TV writers decreased significantly last year. “Women and minorities have actually lost ground as compared to their white male counterparts,” the study found, “both in terms of overall staff positions and in higher-level executive producer ranks.”
Minority writers saw a nearly 7% decline in employment last season, falling from 15.6% of the workforce in 2011-12 to 13.7% in 2013-14, while employment of female writers fell 5%, from 30.5% to 29%.
It is no coincidence that CBS, which had the fewest number of minority actors, also has the fewest number of minority staff writers.
In its report card, the WGA found that minorities accounted for only 11.3% of the writers employed on CBS shows, compared with 16.1% at ABC, 14.2% at NBC and 13.9% at Fox.
Ironically, it’s the guild’s own members – the showrunners and executive producers – who do most of the hiring. But it’s the networks, studios and production companies who hire the showrunners, and the report found that minorities held only 5.5% of those jobs during the 2013-14 season, down from 7.8% two years earlier, an overall decline of nearly 30%.
It is important to point out that studies show that audiences do prefer more diverse programming and this is evident in the ratings for Black-ish, Empire,
and How To Get Away With Murder.
At the end of the day, if you are a black, Hispanic, Asian or trans-gender actor or writer, you are less likely to get hired by a CBS executive than any other network.
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