Magazine article Media Report to Women

Another Down Year for Women in Television

Magazine article Media Report to Women

Another Down Year for Women in Television

Article excerpt

The percentages of female characters on screen and women working in key roles behind the scenes declined on television programs in 2017-18, according to the latest Boxed In report released in September by Dr. Martha Lauzen, executive director of the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University. Now in its 21st year, the study provides the most comprehensive historical record of women's representation and employment in television available.

Overall, females comprised 40% of all speaking characters on television programs appearing on the broadcast networks, cable, and streaming services, a decline of 2 percentage points from 42% in 2016-17. The percentage of female characters featured on broadcast network programs was lower in 2017-18 (41%) than it was a decade ago in 2007-08 (43%).

Across all platforms, the percentage of Latina characters in speaking roles reached a historical high in 2017-18, accounting for 7% of all female characters (up from 5% in 2016-17), but they remain the most underrepresented ethnic group when compared to their representation in the U.S. population. Black characters remained steady at 19% of all females, and the percentage of Asian females remained unchanged at 6%.

Behind the scenes, women accounted for 27% of all creators, directors, writers, executive producers, producers, editors, and directors of photography working on programs delivered via the various platforms last year. …

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