Women directors were at the forefront of the most acclaimed movies and television series in 2019. Ava DuVernay gave us When They See Us, the acclaimed four-part series on Netflix that focused on the Exonerated Five. For films, Melina Matsoukas made her directorial debut with Queen and Slim, Kasi Lemmons brought the tale of Harriet Tubman to life in Harriet, Mati Diop wowed with Atlantics Unfortunately, we still have a long way to go to fully achieve gender equality.
As found in the latest research report from Dr. Stacy L. Smith and the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, women are still sorely underrepresented on the directorial front.
Of the 133 directors attached to the top 100 movies of 2019, 89.4% of them were men and only 10.6% were women. Of the 1,300 films released in 2019, only 4.8% of them were directed by women. Universal Pictures had the most female directors attached to films, followed by Warner Bros. and Sony Pictures Entertainment.
The report also reveals that women of color are still largely underrepresented behind the camera and made up less than 1% of all directing jobs across the top 1,300 films of 2019. White men made up 82.5% of jobs, men of color made up 12.6%, and white women made up only 3.9%.
On average Metacritic scores are higher for stories directed by women of color than stories directed by white men, white women or underrepresented males. Despite this, it appears that women of color are still least likely to helm the top 1oo films each year.
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