‘Curb’ One of the Least Diverse TV Shows for Directors

by | September 14, 2011 at 4:16 PM | TV News

By Brent Lang

LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) – When it comes to hiring female and minority directors, the ABC sitcom “The Middle” gets a gold star and HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” earns a piece of coal, according to a new report from The Directors Guild of America.

The DGA analyzed more than 2,600 episodes produced in the 2010-2011 television season from more than 170 scripted television series to compile its “best of” and “worst of” lists.

The clear message from its findings is that television remains a white man’s world.

The study comes on the heels of last month’s report from the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University that found that the number of females both in front of and behind the cameras is down from just a year ago.

As evidence that a glass ceiling exists, albeit with a few cracks, the DGA study found that Caucasian males directed 77 percent of all episodes, Caucasian females directed 11 percent of all episodes and minority males directed 11 percent of all episodes. Particularly anemic was minority female representation. Women of color only slid behind the camera 1 percent of the time.

Among one-hour series, Caucasian males directed 80 percent of episodes, and in half-hour series, Caucasian males directed 74 percent of all episodes.

Click the image below to watch the Season Finale of “Curb Your Enthusiasm:”

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Those dismal numbers were essentially static in terms of Caucasian female representation, but the percentage of episodes directed by minority men dropped (from 12 percent to 11 percent) and the percentage of episodes directed by minority women dropped by half (from 2 percent to 1 percent).

“The statistics seem to demonstrate that as a whole, most production companies have demonstrated little or no interest or effort in increasing diversity in their hiring practices from year to year,” the report reads.

In the dog house in terms of female and minority representation, are HBO’s “Bored to Death,” FX’s “Justified,” and Showtime’s “Weeds” all of which were exclusively directed by white men.

In addition to “The Middle,” which turned over directing chores to women and minorities 64 percent of the time, other standouts include three HBO programs “Hung” (60 percent), “In Treatment” (54 percent), and “Treme” (45 percent), two CBS shows “90210” (45 percent) and “The Good Wife” (39 percent), and Lifetime’s “Drop Dead Diva” (38 percent).

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