It’s no surprise to know that women writers in Hollywood have a tough time getting gigs. It’s always great to have the statistics to back up all the anecdotes. So, here are the abysmal statistics from the 2009 Hollywood Writers Report report done by the Writers Guild of America West. This report Rewriting an All-Too-Familiar Story? is an update 2007 report. (FYI- The stats only go through the end of 2007.)
What do the stats show?
First, things are pretty sucky for women writers (things are even worse for people of color. The stats are included in the report linked to below.) Second, it’s just not getting better. Third, women get paid less across the board and that is actually getting worse. “The previous Hollywood Writers Report noted that while women writers had made considerable strides in television earnings, they appeared to be going backwards in film earnings. The current report suggests that these trends continue to hold for women writers relative to their white male counterparts.”
Total Percentage of Women Writers
2003: Total- 24%; TV- 27%, Film – 18%
2004: Total- 25%; TV- 27%, Film – 18%
2005: Total- 25%; TV- 27%, Film – 19%
2006: Total- 25%; TV- 28%, Film – 18%
2007: Total- 25%; TV- 28%, Film – 18%
From the report:
Women Writers’ Overall Employment Share Remains Largely Flat
Between 2003 and 2007, gains for women writers have not exceeded one percentage point in any of the employment areas. Women, who account for slightly more than 50 percent of the U.S. population, remain underrepresented in television employment by 2 to 1 and in film employment by nearly 3 to 1.
Earnings Gender Gap in TV
Women television writers earned about the same in 2007 ($82,604) as they did at the beginning of the five-year report period in 2003 ($82,000), despite spikes in earnings in 2005 and 2006. The television earnings of white male writers, by contrast, increased by nearly $4,000 over the report period (from $84,300 to $87,984), after peaking at $100,000 in 2005 and 2006.
Earnings Gender Gap in Film
The gender earnings gap in film for 2007 ($41,724) was the largest since at least 2003. Film earnings for women were down from the 2003 figure of $62,500 in 2005 ($50,000), 2006 ($55,500), and 2007 ($57,151). By contrast, the earnings of white male writers increased by more than $8,000 over the period, from $90,476 in 2003 to $98,875 in 2007.
This is just unacceptable.