AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinals“These statistics should remind everyone in a position to affect decisions during this hiring season of the underemployment of minority and female writers in series television,” said WGA West board member Melissa Rosenberg, who chairs the guild’s Diversity Strategy Committee. “That outcome can be prevented and, instead, progress can be made if intentional steps are taken to reach beyond familiarity, tapping diverse writers at all levels, promoting those already working, and seeking out new writers in these underrepresented groups.” During the current season, 542 women were on writing staffs, up by more than 100 positions from the season before. This represents an increase of about 1 percent of total female television employment – from 28.4 percent in 2004-05 to 29.3 percent in 2005-06. The report states that in general, minority writers have lost some ground compared with their white counterparts who are also twice as likely to be executive producers than their minority peers. During the current season, there were 206 minority writers on the staffs of television shows, up slightly from the prior season. But since the overall number of TV writers grew between the two seasons by 17.3 percent, the minority share actually decreased from 13 percent in 2004-05 to 12 percent in 2005-06. More than half of the ethnic minority writers (63.1 percent) are African-American and continued to be heavily concentrated at the now-defunct UPN. Of the remaining minority writers, 19.4 percent were Hispanic and 17.5 percent Asian. The recent merging of the UPN and WB networks into the CW network will contribute to a significant decline in women and racial minority writers for television, according to preliminary findings released Monday by the Writers Guild of America. The guild, which will release its complete 2006 Hollywood writers report this fall, said its advance TV data focusing on staffing for the upcoming 2006-07 season was grim for women who remain underrepresented on TV staffs by a 2-1 margin even though they make up 51 percent of the U.S. population. Male writers are also twice as likely as female writers to be what is known as a “show runner,” a writer who also acts as an executive producer. Ethnic minorities, which comprise 30 percent of the population, are outnumbered 3-1, the preliminary numbers show. While UPN led in minority hiring, the ABC Family Channel was tops in terms of female staffing, followed by Lifetime, UPN, NBC and WB. The news was better for “older” writers who are described in the findings as over the age of 40. This group continued to make up more than 45 percent of all writers, are more than twice as likely to be show runners than younger writers, and are more likely to work in drama instead of comedy. Lifetime is the top employer of writers over 40, followed by TNT, FX, USA and HBO. The WGA’s forthcoming 2006 Hollywood Writers Report will be compiled and authored by Darnell M. Hunt, UCLA professor of sociology and director of the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies. He also compiled the guild’s 2005 report. The report examines the current employment climate, hiring trends, and income earnings for women, minority and other writers in the entertainment industry. firstname.lastname@example.org (818)713-3758160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!