Directors Guild Rips Hollywood for ‘Discriminatory Practices’

Silhouette of working people or production film crew are making (Credit: Deposit Photos)

Despite the #OscarsSoWhite outcry and demands for greater inclusion, there’s still an acute lack of opportunities in Hollywood for women and people of color, particularly for those who want to direct feature films.

The Directors Guild of America released a new report Thursday, which said “discriminatory practices” are to blame for the small numbers of women and minorities helming movies.

The scathing DGA report said women directed just 12 percent of films that earned at least $250,000 at the box office in 2017. People of color directed 10 percent of those films. While the number of female filmmakers remained about the same as the previous year, the ranks of minority directors fell 3 percent.

“It’s outrageous that we’re once again seeing such a lack of opportunity for women and people of color to direct feature films,” DGA President Thomas Schlamme said in a statement. “Our new study shows that discriminatory practices are still rampant across every corner of the feature film business. These numbers hit home how the chips are stacked against women and people of color.”

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To reach its conclusions, the DGA said it analyzed 651 films released in theaters last year.

Schlamme blamed movie studios, producers and agents for failing to take significant steps to address the problem.

“From financing and hiring, to distribution and agent representation – every aspect of the entire system disadvantages women and people of color,” he said.

Miki Turner, an assistant professor at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, told Urban Hollywood 411 the results of the study are not surprising.

“There can be all the public outcry on this stuff, and you see this diversity push and this inclusion push every other year and it’s cyclical,” she said. “The fact that it keeps coming back is an indication that no one is really doing anything to make it go away.”

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Turner added, the only thing that will bring real change is women and people of color writing, producing and directing their own films.

“It’s an industry where, if you’re a person of color, you’ve got to create your own opportunities,” she explained. “Nobody is giving away nothing.”