According to an analysis by Maureen Ryan at the Huffington Post, in 40 years on the air, the creators of HBO’s highly respected dramas and miniseries have been almost entirely white men.
HBO says they’re working on it. To be fair, their competitors, like AMC, FX, Showtime, and Netflix, aren’t doing much better either. Of 97 narrative architects at these “big players in the prestige TV game” in the last dozen years, 12 have been women. The disparities when it comes to these gold standard shows are significantly worse than the numbers in TV overall–which we already know is really bad.
So who cares about these networks? Ryan explains, “When audiences want to check on the state of high-end drama — TV that examines, articulates and interrogates the human condition — these places are among the first places they look. They’re among the outlets that tell us who we are and who we could be. The kind of places that are supposed move the ball forward when it comes to the evolution of the art form.”
Not fast enough, apparently.
Maya Dusenbery is an Executive Director of Feministing.