Wednesday, September 13, 2017 at 7:01 a.m.
She writes, produces, directs and distributes: Ava DuVernay is a one-woman representation machine.
Hollywood’s problem with women is so dire that last year the federal government began investigating gender bias in film and television. L.A. Weekly‘s coverage in 2015 contributed to an avalanche of bad press for an industry that has struggled to reflect American racial, ethnic and gender diversity.
Yet study after study in recent years has shown mediocre progress at best when it comes to hiring women in front of and behind the camera. The latest analysis of women in TV, “Boxed In,” shows that the share of speaking female characters on broadcast network programs — 43 percent — has remained exactly the same compared with nearly 10 years ago (the 2016-17 season versus 2007-08).
“Women are similarly stuck in behind-the-scenes positions on broadcast programs,” according to a summary. “Women accounted for 27 percent of individuals in powerful behind-the-scenes roles. This is only 1 percentage point higher than in 2006-07.”
The report was revealed this week ahead of Sunday’s Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theater downtown, television’s biggest industry event. Study author Martha Lauzen, executive director of the Center for the
Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University, says that in other areas, including streaming and cable, women saw “modest” improvements.
Her study, in its 20th year, looked at 4,109 characters and 4,310 credits for programs on broadcast networks, basic and pay cable channels and streaming content in 2016-17. The long…
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