Monday, May 14, 2007

Shocker: White Males Still Dominate Hollywood Writing Ranks

The "2007 Hollywood Writers Report -- Whose Stories Are We Telling?" was written by Darnell Hunt, director of the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies and professor of sociology at UCLA. Hunt was the author involved in a similar WGAW-commissioned report published in 2005, and he participated in a study of TV employment released by SAG in 2000.

"More than 30% of the American population is nonwhite, yet writers of color continue to account for less than 10% of employed television writers," Hunt noted in an executive summary of the report. "These numbers will likely get worse before they get better because of the recent merger of UPN and the WB into the new CW network, which resulted in the cancellation of several minority-themed situation comedies that employed a disproportionate share of minority television writers.

"The situation is grimmer in film," he added, "where the minority share of employment has been stuck at 6% for years."

The report also documented an earnings disparity for minority TV writers that widened by more than $6,000 between 2004 and '05. The overall median earnings for minority TV writers in '05 was $78,107, compared with $97,956 for white writers.

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