A new report issued by the Writers Guild of America West includes some promising trends but shows that discrimination against women and people of color remains widespread in the television and film writing industries. Colorado writers may be interested to learn that while gains have been made since 2016 when the #OscarsSoWhite movement highlighted the issue, there is still a lot of work to be done to ensure that women and minorities have the same opportunities as white men.
The latest review shows that while women account for 51% of the population, they hold only 44% of the television writing jobs available during the 2019-2020 season across all platforms, including network, cable and streaming. People of color are similarly underrepresented, accounting for only 35% of all jobs while making up 40% of the population. The news is even more dismal for Native American and Middle Eastern writers, whose representation is almost nonexistent.
The movie production industry is lagging behind television in hiring practices regarding people of color and women. The report showed that women hold only 27% of film writing jobs while minorities hold only 20%. This is disappointing as screen credits largely determine status and opportunities for future work in Hollywood. Being denied equal opportunities negatively impacts the careers of underrepresented groups and denies the public the chance to experience the diversity that their voices bring.
Overall, the hiring of people of color and women is increasing in both the movie and television industries; however, underrepresented groups still have not achieved parity of employment. In cases of employment discrimination based on race or gender, an issue that affects all industries, not just entertainment, a lawyer with experience in employment law may be able to help navigate the legal issues and reach a settlement on behalf of a worker.