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Canadian television writers are more diverse, but ‘glass ceiling’ intact for senior roles: Writers Guild of Canada

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April 3, 2023
By Talent Canada


Photo: Evgeniy Shkolenko/Getty Images

Diversity is rising among television writers, according to new data from the Writers Guild of Canada (WGC).

It found that the percentage of diverse writers has increased steadily from 2017 to 2021, nearly doubling from 18% to 35%. It said that increase was largely driven by higher participation of Black writers and writers of colour. (WGC defines diversity groups as Indigenous, Black, LGBTQ2S, People of Colour and People with Disabilities.)

The data includes information from 52 live-action and 36 animated series that started production in 2021, in addition to the 342 series previously covered in the period from 2017 to 2020.

“The findings in the report strongly suggest that despite broad gains, there remains a ‘glass ceiling’ for diverse writers in obtaining senior roles in writers’ rooms, particularly at the co-executive producer and executive producer levels,” the report said. “Diverse writers made up 22% of executive producers. In contrast, 65% of story editors in writers’ rooms were diverse writers. The small share of diverse writers obtaining senior staffing roles might explain, in part, why they did not garner a share of script assignments proportional to their work as story editors.”

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Women now make up 55% of all working writers, including 59% for live-action and 50% in animation — which is on par with the share of make writers working on animation.

The report also identifies specific groups where there is little to no growth. People with disabilities held only 1.7% of live action and 1% of animation jobs in 2021. Indigenous writers represented 2% of working writers and held 3.7% of live action and 0.5% of animation jobs in 2021.

The WGC said that 59% of its new members identified as diverse in 2021.

View the full report at https://www.wgc.ca/sites/default/files/2023-04/2023WGC_diversity%20report-Apr1.pdf


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