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By the number of minority performers appearing on screen, you might get the impression that Hollywood has suddenly embraced diversity. Think again. According to the Screen Actors Guild’s most recent figures, 19% of acting jobs in television and film go to minority performers, twothirds of whom are African American. In total, black males are cast in 13% of male roles and black females in 11% of female roles. But behind the camera, the scene is anything but diverse. The Directors Guild of America reports that only3.6% of its active members–made up of directors, assistant directors, stage managers and production managers-are African American.

While we’ve come a long way in the quest to integrate, we still have a ways to go to get equal lights, camera and action.

African American Membership in The Directors Guild of America

   

Active African American Members

Description

Total Number of Active Members

Number

Percentage

Director

5,400

160

3.0

Unit Production Mgr.

952

6

0.6

First Ass’t Director

878

26

3.0

Second Ass’t Director

971

48

4.9

Technical Coordinator

16

0

0.0

Associate Director

1,198

53

4.4

Stage Manager

442

54

12.2

Production Assistant

212

18

8.5

Totals

 

365

3.6

Source: The Directors Guild of America, Los Angeles, 1997
Shows with Mainly African American Casts and Executive Producers
   

African American Writers

Show

Total Writers

Number

Percentage

In the House

11

4

36

Living Single

17

6

35

Martin

14

12

86

Moesha

13

13

100

ParentHood

14

7

50

Sister, Sister

18

4

22

Steve Harvey Show

8

4

50

Source: Black Talent News, Los Angeles, 1997
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