DGA to Honor FX Networks With 2019 Diversity Award

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John Landgraf

The award, which recognizes the network's efforts in hiring women and people of color, will be presented at the DGA Awards dinner in February.

FX Networks will be honored with the Directors Guild of America's 2019 Diversity Award, which will be presented at the 71st annual DGA Awards on Feb. 2 at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at the Hollywood and Highland Center, it was announced today by DGA president Thomas Schlamme. The award is being given in recognition of the network's commitment to, and leadership in, inclusive hiring in DGA-covered categories, the DGA said.

While just 12 percent of the network's directors were women or people of color during the 2014-15 season, following a diversity initiative from FX CEO John Landgraf in January, 2016, those numbers improved so that on the most recent TV season, 52.6 percent of the channel's directors were women or people of color. FX's programming includes such Ryan Murphy productions as American Horror Story: Apocalypse and Pose, as well as Atlanta and The Americans.

"The DGA Diversity Award is a rare honor, given only when exceptional leadership in inclusive hiring is exhibited — and today, FX embodies the spirit of this special award," Schlamme said in announcing the honor. "Just three short years ago, FX made a promise to transform themselves from a network that trailed behind in the area of director diversity, to one that blazed a new trail. In the time since, they've gone above and beyond to turn words into action. From CEO John Landgraf to all corners of the network, status quo hiring practices were overhauled into expansive searches for talented women directors and directors of color. By chipping away barriers for talent to be discovered, FX not only impacted the careers of diverse directors, they also enhanced the quality of their shows. FX is an extraordinary advocate for inclusion throughout our industry and a shining example of how an institution can change its culture. We are very proud to recognize them with the DGA's Diversity Award."

The DGA Diversity Award has only been given five times: in 1997 to Bruce Paltrow, John Wells and Christopher Chulack; in 1999 to Steven Bochco; in 2000 to HBO; in 2005 to Stephen McPherson; and in 2014 to Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers.  

The award's recipient was selected by the guild's Diversity Task Force and then was unanimously approved by the DGA's national board.