WMC 10-Year Emmy Study: Women Lacking in Writing, Directing, Producing, Editing Nominations

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In the past decade, women have received only 22 percent of the Primetime Emmy nominations for writing, directing, producing, and editing, according to an investigation by the Women’s Media Center.

Although the Emmys cover many different jobs related to creating television programs, the Women’s Media Center focused on the categories of writing (6), directing (8), editing (10), and producing (20). In its analysis of the nominations made for the years 2006 through 2015, WMC sought to take a detailed look at the gender ratios of jobs that have the most influence on what is depicted on the small screen.

Out of all the nominees nominated in 44 writing, directing, editing, and producing categories over the past decade, 2,074 of them were women, representing only 22 percent of the total. There were 7,485 men nominated, 78 percent of the total.

For the 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards — which will air on Sunday — women make up only 25 percent of the writing, directing, producing, and editing nominations.

Julie Burton, President of the Women’s Media Center, noted, “These are key behind-the-scenes roles, and the men and women in these roles have the power to decide and mold what the story is, who is in the story, and how the story is told. This is crucial to making sure women’s experiences, perspectives, voices, and images are part of any story. Clearly there is a connection between the broadcast, network, cable, and Netflix programs that hire exclusively male creators and the industry-wide gender divide. When there are few jobs for women, it is easy to see why so few women in non-acting categories are recognized for their excellence.”

Research by the Center for the Study of Women in Television & Film shows that in 2014-2015 on prime-time television women were 26 percent of executive producers, 38 percent of producers, 26 percent of writers, 14 percent of directors, and 21 percent of editors.

“The bottom line: if more women were hired as writers, directors, editors, producers, and especially as creators and executive producers, the talent pool for nominations would be more reflective of the overall population and audience — more than half of which are women,” Burton said.

Pat Mitchell, Chair, WMC Board of Directors, added: “Clearly, the number of nominees for Emmys is not representative of the impact or the accomplishments of women writers, directors, producers, editors whose overall representation in all those categories is still far from equal to their talents or the opportunities, facts that the Women’s Media Center’s research so clearly indicates."

Here’s a summary of the WMC analysis — which used data from Emmys.com:

Writing:

- From 2006 to 2015, women made up 13 percent of all the nominees in six writing categories, earning 171 nominations to 1,103 for men.

- The addition of Inside Amy Schumer as a nominee to the category of Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series boosted the numbers.

- In the category of Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series, women make up only 22 percent of nominees over the course of 10 years, but Mad Men accounts for a significant portion of the women nominated.

Directing:

- From 2006 to 2015, women made up only 8 percent of all directing nominations, earning 116 nominations; men received 1,417.

- During that period, only two women have been nominated for an award for Outstanding Directing for a Variety Series: Amy Schumer in 2015 for the episode “12 Angry Men Inside Amy Schumer” and Beth McCarthy-Miller in 2006 for an episode of Saturday Night Live.

Producing:

- In the past decade, women made up only 28 percent — or 1,640 — of the Primetime Emmy nominees in the 20 categories in which producers were nominated. Men accounted for 72 percent — 4,306.

- By far, the highest concentration of women is to be found in the documentary film categories: Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking and Outstanding Documentary Or Nonfiction Special.

- From 2006 to 2015, women have usually outnumbered men, 54 percent to 46 percent, in the Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking category.

Editing:

- From 2006 to 2015, women made up 18 percent of all nominees for editing awards, earning 147 nominations versus the 659 that went to men.

- Only two of the editing categories showed progress in the number of women: Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series and Outstanding Picture Editing For Nonfiction Programming.

- In 2015, women represented 40 percent of the nominees for Outstanding Picture Editing For A Drama Series, boosted by the AMC show Breaking Bad.

- From 2006 to 2015, women received the largest percentage of editing nominations for Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing For A Limited Series or Movie: 25 percent.

* The Primetime Emmy Awards do not have categories for producers, but producers are nominated in multiple categories.

Click here for the full PDF report: WMC Investigation: 10-Year Review of Gender and Emmy Nominations

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