Are we shocked?

A new report by The Think Tank for Inclusion and Equity (TTIE) reveals that 64 percent of diverse writers working in television today have experienced bias, discrimination or harassment, and 51 percent reported they have never worked on a show that featured all non-diverse main characters.

Also, 58 percent say they’ve experienced microaggressions in the writers’ room. Chief among these microaggressions is having their pitches rejected only to see a non-diverse writer pitch the same concept and have it met; 53 percent of diverse writers say this has happened to them.

The survey from Think Tank for Inclusion and Equity includes 68 percent of writers who identify as female or non-binary, 67 percent who are people of color, 32 percent who identify as LGBTQ and 14 percent have a disability. Of the writers polled, 42 percent reveal they received their first or second writer job as a diversity hire. In regards to people of color, a staggering 65 percent admit to being the only one in the room. As for LGBTQ writers, 68 percent of them reported being the only one, while 34 percent of women and non-binary writers revealed they were the single woman or non-binary member of their writing staff. The survey, conducted between July 28 and September 1, polled 282 writers who worked in television and were writing fellowship alumni. 

When asked, the writers surveyed believed that showrunners were the most resistant to inclusion. However, 41 percent also said they think the network was the most resistant; 37 percent said the writers’ room; 36 percent said the No. 2 on staff, and 35 percent revealed they believed the studio was the most resistant to inclusion. The survey, which was endorsed by The Chi creator Lena Waithe, is further confirmation that we have long ways to go to see real integration in and beyond the writers room.


Photo: Getty Images