The company behind such series as Atlanta, Pose, Mayans M.C. and Snowfall is set to receive the 2019 DGA Diversity Award. FX Networks will receive the honor — which has been bestowed only a handful of times in the DGA Awards’ long history — during the guild’s trophy show next year.
The Diversity Award recognizes the network’s commitment to, and leadership in, inclusive hiring in DGA-covered categories and the example it sets for the rest of the industry, the guild said. It will be presented at the 71st annual DGA Awards on February 2 at Hollywood & Highland’s Ray Dolby Ballroom.
The guild notes that FX has emerged as an industry leader in diversity during the past several years by actively and consistently creating an inclusive environment. Not long ago, the company lagged behind the other networks in diverse hiring: just 12% of the network’s directors were women or people of color in the 2014-15 season. It was at that time that the company announced a serious commitment to taking action and improving diversity behind the camera. FX CEO John Landgraf kicked off the initiative in January 2016, urging for a diversified pool of directors, and developing network resources to aid in those efforts. Hiring practices were overhauled, and the changes made a big impact. In the most recent TV season, 52.6% of the channel’s roster of directors were women or people of color.
“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,” DGA President Thomas Schlamme said. “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.”
The DGA Diversity Award has been given just five previous times: to Bruce Paltrow, John Wells and Christopher Chulack in 1997; Steven Bochco in 1999; HBO in 2000; Stephen McPherson in 2005; and Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers in 2014.
“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,” Schlamme added. “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.”
DGA Awards nominations for TV, commercials and documentaries will be announced on January 7, followed by the feature film noms the next day.