Women screenwriters continue to be heavily outnumbered by their male counterparts, and they also earn far less than men, according to a survey released today by the Writers Guild of America, West.
The union's Hollywood Writers Report found that women represented just 15 percent of film writers in 2012, down from 19 percent in 2009, while they earned 77 cents for every dollar earned by white men in 2012 -- down from 82 cents in 2009.
The report also found that women represented 27 percent of people employed as television writers in the 2011-12 season, while earning about 92 cents for every dollar earned by white men.
Minority television writers showed an increase in employment share, going from 10 percent in 2009 to 11 percent in 2012. For screenwriting, minorities held only a 5 percent share, the same percentage as in 2009, according to the report.
"The good news is that, since the last report published in 2011, there appears to have been small gains for women and minorities in television employment and earnings -- though both groups still have quite a way to go to reach parity with their white male counterparts," according to report author Darnell M. Hunt, director of the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA.
"The story for film, unfortunately, is not so good," he said. "Since the last report, there has been no progress for either group. Indeed, relative to white males, women and minorities have lost ground in the sector."
The report found that older writers continued to be strongly represented in both film and television, with people aged 41 to 50 holding the largest share of jobs. The percentage drops dramatically for writers older than 60, according to the report.
--City News Service