With recent big-budget projects like Black Panther and A Wrinkle in Time, the movie industry has made a few noteworthy strides in terms of diversity in the director’s chair. But directors who are not white and male are still largely the exception in Hollywood and beyond—and that includes movies at every budget.
The Directors Guild of America just released a comprehensive new analysis of hundreds of feature films released over a five-year period, including more than 650 released last year. Women and minority directors lagged in every category, with little to no improvement over the time period the DGA analyzed. This despite a more diverse crop of nominees at the Oscars earlier this year and a much greater awareness of the issue in general, propagated by hashtag campaigns like #OscarsSoWhite.
In the feature category for movies that grossed more than $250,000, 88% of directors were white in 2017, a number that has remained stubbornly persistent over the last five years.
Gender diversity in that category was equally imbalanced, with women directing only 12% of the 175 feature films in the data set. That number is slightly improved from 2013, when women directed only 6% of features in the same category.
If you broaden the category to all films released last year, women directors fare slightly better, but not much. Among the 651 movies in the data set, 16% were directed by women.
In a statement, the DGA’s president, Thomas Schlamme, called the lack of diversity “outrageous,” but it shouldn’t come as a surprise. An EEOC investigation into Hollywood’s hiring practices reportedly found evidence of systemic discrimination against women directors.
You can read the DGA’s full study here.