Feature Film Directors Overwhelmingly Are White Men, Says DGA Report

Directors by Gender and Ethnicity - H 2015
Courtesy of DGA

Little diversity is found in the feature arena, echoing the findings of a DGA TV report earlier this year.

The focus on diversity in Hollywood continued Wednesday with the release of a Director’s Guild of America report showing that few feature films in the past two years were directed by women or minority filmmakers.

According to the DGA’s inaugural Feature Film Diversity Report, just 6.4 percent of the 376 features released in 2013 and 2014 were directed by women, and 12.5 percent by ethnic minorities — and of films that did over $100 million in domestic box office, 96.8 percent were directed by men.

The report comes two months after a DGA report that found scant diversity among first-time television directors. In the wake of an ACLU request earlier this year, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is investigating gender bias in feature and television directing. In addition, emails revealed by the Sony hack disclosed apparent pay inequalities for female actresses, which has become a focus as well.

"What you will see is what happens when industry employers — studios and production companies — do little to address this issue head on," said DGA president Paris Barclay. "The DGA, by detailing the state of director hiring with the precision of our data, hopes to draw further attention to this serious matter so that industry employers can develop concrete director diversity plans."

"The numbers paint a grim outlook for diverse film directors — women in particular," said DGA diversity task force co-chair Bethany Rooney. "Much like our recent reports on television director diversity, we hope this report will put a magnifying glass on a system that makes it disproportionately challenging for talented women and minority film directors to get hired."

The guild also pointed to a cultural loss occasioned by a lack of diversity.

"What this report does not reflect is what people who love film — even our culture as a whole — are missing when such a disproportionate percentage of films are directed by one gender or one ethnicity," said Barclay. "Unfortunately, we don’t have a metric for that."

The complete report is here.

Bookmark The Hollywood Reporter’s Labor Page for the most in-depth coverage of entertainment unions and guilds.

Email: jh@jhandel.com