Yikes: New Network TV Shows Are Overwhelmingly Run By White Dudes

"90% of [new] showrunners are white, and almost 80% are male."

By Eric Shorey

Considering how much diversity on television is talked about on the internet, you'd think that we were making actual progress. Turns out the actual statistics suggest otherwise: Variety has counted up the data on new programs for the 2016-2017 season and concluded that "90% of showrunners are white, and almost 80% are male." Jesus Christ.

More specifically: "There were no non-white female showrunners on new shows for ABC, CBS, or the CW as of press time. The small number of writers of color of either gender working as showrunners on new broadcast network programs demonstrate that in many ways, the path to one of the most powerful positions in TV remains obstructed for them."

Other statistics offered by the study were similarly grim: "Men outnumber women as creators by more than 3 to 1 in all realms of TV, including cable and streaming. Meanwhile, for the 2014-15 season, 19% of broadcast network programs had no speaking roles for African-American characters, and 59% had none for Asian characters ... Non-white writers have constituted no more than 13% of writers-room employment for several years (and in some years, the figure has been even lower) ... Women, who constitute 51% of the American population, will run 22% of the new shows."

Variety also notes the correlation between the lack of females and POCs behind the scenes and the lack of female/POC characters and performers -- that is to say: when white men run shows, they tend to do a bad job of writing and casting people who aren't also white men.

Here's a really cool idea I just had for these networks: hire some people who aren't white dudes. It's not that hard. You can do it! I promise.

You can read the full breakdown of the stats (with charts and graphs!) over here.

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