Women and people of color have made great strides in writers’ rooms in recent years, but male white creators continue to dominate the highest-budget TV shows, according to the latest edition of UCLA’s annual Hollywood Diversity Report.
The report found that 21% of scripted streaming series made by white men had episode budgets of $ 7 million per episode or more. Compared to 11.1% of series made by people of color and only 2.9% of series made by white women (the latter statistic comes down to one show: Disney + “WandaVision”).
Two-thirds, or 66.6%, of the streaming scenarios created by people of color had budgets under $ 3 million or less. Among white women, 42.9% of streaming series makers had budgets between $ 3 million and $ 5 million.
“The next few years can be a real test of whether Hollywood is truly committed to the changes it promised during the nation’s settlement with race after George Floyd’s murder,” said Ana-Christina Ramón, director of UCLA’s Entertainment and Media Research Initiative.
The 70-page report tracks gender and race data for key production tasks across 107 broadcasts, 109 cable TV, and 191 digital screenplay programs for the 2020–21 season. Among the findings:
- 31.8% of program makers in broadcast
- 31.2% in cable
- 36.1% in digital technology.
People of color are:
- 13.1% of these roles in the broadcast
- 26.6% in cable
- 25.6% in digital version
In the writers’ rooms, the gains were noticeable. From season 2020-21:
- 45% of television series authors were women
- People of color constituted over 30%
- Women of color accounted for 17.8% of authors of television programs