Los Angeles – The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) has released the Executive Summary of the 2011 Hollywood Writers Report: Recession and Regression. The study examines writers’ employment and earnings by ethnicity, gender, and age from 2008 through 2009 in the motion picture and television industry. As in previous years, diverse writers face significant obstacles to employment in Hollywood.
According to the report’s author Darnell Hunt, Ph.D., director of the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies and professor of sociology at UCLA, “From the initial project pitch to project completion, each phase of the production pipeline has the potential to serve as a barrier to or facilitator of increased diversity among industry writers. The WGAW is committed to working with the rest of the industry to ensure that the production pipeline is shaped less by the former and more by the latter. Diversity is not a luxury, not even in tough times. The Hollywood industry, in the final analysis, depends on increasingly diverse audiences and on the stories to which they can relate.”
The full report will be available in late summer. Some of the key findings in the summary include:
· Women writers’ overall employment share declined, driven by a one-point loss in the film sector, where women writers’ share dipped from 18% in 2007 to 17% in 2009.
· Although the employment share for women television writers remained stable (still a very low 28%), the earnings gap in television between male and female writers widened again – an 84% increase from the previous report, issued in 2009.
· While the minority share of television employment rebounded to 2005 levels (still a very low 10% up from 9%), the minority share of film employment declined to the lowest level in a decade (down from 6% to 5%). (more…)