According to the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film‘s annual breakdown of gender in prime-time TV, the behind-the-scenes gender gap isn't nearly as wide as it used to be. Unfortunately, that's not saying much—it's still pretty fucking wide.
Taking a look at the 2011-12 season, the study found that 26 percent of the seven job titles they looked at-creators, executive producers, producers, writers, directors, editors and cinematographers-were held by women, a one percent rise from last season and five percentage points up from 1997-98. Not a heck of a lot, but hey, we'll take it.
he really impressive part comes when you take a look at individual jobs, though. The female creator count, now at 26 percent, jumped eight percent from last year, and the female executive producer count (25 percent) jumped three percent. The biggest shift took place in the writers' rooms: Last season, thirty percent of writers working on prime-time dramas, sitcoms and reality shows were female, double the previous year's count. I can't be sure, but I assume Tina Fey must've done something to make that happen.
The numbers are not all so...um...very very mildly-encouraging-if-you-have-zero-expectations, though. The number of female directors has remained stagnant (stagnantly tiny), and the number of female editors dropped 7%. And this bit of the breakdown is particularly discouraging: "90 percent of the shows included in the study don't employ a single female director, and 68 percent don't have any female writers." So can this just serve as a heads-up to all you rosy post-feminists out there? That the existence of one Lena Dunham does not an egalitarian gender utopia make. Please make a note of it. Thx.