WGA report: Minority and women writers make few strides in Hollywood


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The script hasn’t changed much for the diversity -- or lack thereof -- of writers in Hollywood.

That’s the log line from the 2011 Hollywood Writers Report, the latest study by the Writers Guild of America, West on the career status of film and TV writers. The study tracks employment and earnings by ethnicity, gender and age for writers between 2008 and 2009.


Among the key findings: Though the share of minorities working in television -- 10% -- rebounded to 2005 levels, the earnings gap between minorities and white writers more than doubled since 2007. The minority share of employment in feature films declined to the lowest level in a decade, falling to 5% from 6% in 2007, the last year surveyed by the guild.

Women didn’t fare much better, according to the report. Their share of overall employment dropped to 17% in 2009 from 18% in 2007. Although the share of women working in television remained stable, the earnings difference between male and female writers rose 84%, to $9,400 in 2009 from $5,109 in 2007. Median earnings for women in 2009 were $98,600, compared with $108,000 for white males.

Meanwhile, the employment rate remained flat for the largest group of older writers -- those between the ages of 41 and 50 -- at 61%.

‘The current recession has done little to help women, minority and older writers move ahead in the Hollywood industry relative to their male, white and younger counterparts,’’ stated the report by Darnell Hunt, a professor of sociology at UCLA.

Here’s a summary of the report’s key findings:



Writers Guild of America members ratify new contract

-- Richard Verrier