EXCLUSIVE: SAG-AFTRA has scrapped its plans to conduct a comprehensive five-year survey of the employment of women and minority actors in the film and TV industry. The guild’s top diversity official told Deadline more than a year ago that he hoped to have the study completed “within the next 12 months.” Instead, Adam Moore has released a statement to Deadline: “The short version of any numbers that SAG-AFTRA might put out would simply be that our information is consistent with what can be found in published reports.”
It would have been the first time SAG-AFTRA had released its casting data and the first time that SAG would have made its employment figures public since 2009. Prior to its 2012 merger with SAG, AFTRA never had disclosed its casting data.
“We have decided to change the plan,” said Moore, SAG-AFTRA’s national director of Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity. “Instead of spending time and energy going back over the past five years to release information that is already found in other areas, restating the case and rehashing the record, we plan to use the information we have at our disposal in the most strategically beneficial way to accomplish our ultimate goal: more and better jobs for all of our members. To that end, the SAG-AFTRA EEO & Diversity department is in the process of hiring a Director of Policy Strategy & Analysis to better refine our ability to translate what we’re seeing on-screen – and what we aren’t – into the most effective action possible.
“With respect to on-screen inclusion,” he told Deadline, “it’s been quite a year since we last spoke. Whether we’re talking about increasingly diverse programming that is receiving both critical acclaim as well as audience support or about the ACLU request for federal and state investigations into gender discrimination in entertainment, the industry and the audiences they serve are clearly invested in these issues. Alongside the growing interest we also have a wider variety of, and better quality of, data than ever before about the landscape– from UCLA’s Darnell Hunt with the ‘2015 Hollywood Diversity Report: Flipping the Script’ to the Geena Davis Institute-commissioned ‘Gender Bias Without Borders: Investigation of Female Characters in Popular Films Across 11 Countries’ to the recently announced undertaking at USC Annenberg School to take on a ‘Comprehensive Analysis and Report on Diversity’ that will chart how the major entertainment players fare when it comes to hiring, casting and content.”
Moore told Deadline in April 2014 that he hoped to have the study on the hiring of women and minorities “within the next 12 months. That’s my hope. That’s my plan.”