Hollywood Writers: Yep, We're Still Mostly White Guys
Across the spectrum of diversity standards, Hollywood's bar hasn't been raised since Robert E. Lee sat on his plantation porch swing. A new report put out by the Writers Guild of America/West details its complete lack of progress on all fronts.
From transparency to rational investing to sexual harassment to pay equity to discriminatory hiring practices, Hollywood is ruled by behind-closed-doors, old boy wheeling and dealings in a way that no other industry has enjoyed since the Gilded Age. Slice it any way you like — along gender lines, minority employment, elderly discrimination; hiring or pay equity — and Hollywood will show you numbers and trends that are absolutely dismal.
This is the second study conducted by the Guild with annual data now covering 2003 through 2007. They note in the introduction to this year's executive summary that the first report in 2007 had called for "rethinking business as usual in the industry." Today, they write:
Despite this clarion call, the report finds little if any improvement in the employment and earnings of diverse writers in the entertainment industry. Women remain stuck at 28 percent of television employment and 18 percent of film employment. The minority share of film employment has been frozen at 6 percenct since 1999, while the group's share of television employment actually declined to 9 percent since the last report. Although women and minorities closed the earnings gap with white men in television a bit, the earnings gaps in film grew.
These findings are clearly out of step with a nation that elected its first African-American President in 2008, a nation in which more than half the population is female and nearly a third is non-white.
There are lots of jaw dropping goodies in the report. We've collected some of the report's best graphs below. Enjoy this look by the numbers of life inside Hollywood, the conscience of the world.