Diverse TV writers report ongoing discrimination

ByDiverse Media Corp

Diverse TV writers report ongoing discrimination

Despite ongoing calls for inclusion in TV writers’ rooms, a new survey of television writers paints an unfortunate picture of bias encountered by creatives who belong to traditionally under-represented groups.The survey, by television writers who make up the Think Tank for Inclusion and Equity (TTIE), was released Thursday and highlights systematic barriers for diverse writers, seven people representing the body told CNN in an interview ahead of the report’s release. (The survey defined “diverse” as people who identified as female/non-binary, people of color, LGBTQ+, and people with disabilities.)More than 64% of the those surveyed said they have experienced bias, discrimination, and or harassment while on a writing staff. And 58% said they experienced push back when pitching what the survey called “non-stereotypical diverse characters or storylines.”Others reported significant hurdles when trying to advance in title and rank — in some cases (about 15% of respondents) even taking demotions in order to be on a writing staff.The report, titled “Behind-the-Scenes: The State of Inclusion and Equity in TV Writers Rooms,” was compiled in part “so we could get hard data to back up anecdotes,” says Jude Roth, an up-and-coming TV writer whose pilot about female veterans was featured on last year’s “TheBlack List.””These aren’t isolated experiences of bias, discrimination, or feeling isolated in the hiring process,” she says. “They are actually happening. It’s less of a feeling and more of a fact.”Nearly 300 diverse writers completed the survey and, in all, it represents 10% of all working TV writers, as well as 24% of all women and non-binary individuals and 51% of all people of color working in TV, the group says.

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