LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hiring of minorities and women for stepping-stone TV directing jobs is lagging, according to a Directors Guild of America study.
The study released Wednesday focuses on "first break" jobs the guild called critical in increasing diversity in the ranks of episodic TV directors.
Of the 153 people hired during the 2015-16 season to direct their first TV episode, 15 percent were ethnic minorities — a hiring rate that has remained flat over the past seven seasons, the annual study found.
For women, there was a slight upward trend in hiring, but it was part of a fluctuation since 2012 that falls within the same stubborn range, the guild said.
Within the last three years, for example, hiring of first-time female directors fell from 23 percent to 16 percent and then returned to 23 percent, researchers found.
"To change the hiring pool, you have to change the pipeline. Year after year when we put out our TV director diversity report, the media and public are stunned that the numbers remain virtually the same," Bethany Rooney, co-chair of the DGA Diversity Task Force, said in a statement.
Those responsible for hiring decisions include studios, networks and executive producers.
Looking at the period encompassing the 2009-10 through 2015-16 seasons, men represented 81 percent of new episodic directors, with women making up 19 percent, the guild said. White represented 86 percent, with minorities at 14 percent, the guild said.