A report released by the Directors Guild of America counts down the best and worst television shows when it comes to hiring women and minority directors. It’s no secret that minorities/women regularly get the shaft in pretty much every creative industry, but it’s still always disheartening to look at the numbers.
The worst offenders tend to hail from premium channels: Banshee (Cinemax), Black Sails (Starz), Boardwalk Empire (HBO), The Brink (HBO), The Comeback (HBO), Flesh and Bone (Starz), Masters of Sex (Showtime), and Ray Donovan (Showtime) all have a whopping 0% of episodes directed by non-white men. What’s surprising is that many woman-centric (or even woman-created) shows are devoid of women/minority directors — Mom, Mystery Girls, and 2 Broke Girls— or have disappointingly low numbers (Hot in Cleveland: 4%; Girl Meets World: 7%; Witches of East End: 8%).
The “Best” list is far more promising, of course, and it’s no surprise that the top three — with a full 100%!! — hail from BET, because diversity tends to promotes diversity: Being Mary Jane (one of the best shows you’re not watching), The Game, and Single Ladies all top the list. Also near the top are CBS’ canceled The McCarthys (93%, which is pretty surprising), TBS’ Ground Floor (90%), and, of course, Fox’s Empire (82%).
There are quite a few surprises on that list — I would’ve placed money on Empire being higher, or on Criminal Minds being lower (52% is impressive, considering how many episodes are about violence against women, and considering that those numbers blow The Comeback out of the water) — but for the most part it’s just a disappointing reminder that we still have a lot of work to do when it comes to including women and minorities in television.