The Writers Guild of Canada has released a new Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Report with 2020 data. The initiative is part of the WGC and its Diversity Committee’s efforts to work towards addressing issues of historic underrepresentation in Canadian television. (Diversity groups are defined by the WGC as Indigenous, Black, LGBTQ2S, People of Colour, People Living with Disabilities.)
The new report provides membership data from 2017 to 2020, and includes contract data from 62 live-action and animated series that started production in 2020, in addition to the 280 series previously covered in the period from 2017 to 2019.
The data shows some marked increases between 2019 and 2020 in key credit categories, including:
- The share of writers from underrepresented communities receiving upper-level staffing credits increased in multiple categories, including Co-Executive Producer (from 25% in 2019 to 28% in 2020) and Consulting Producer (from 24% in 2019 to 33% in 2020).
- The combined share of Black and People of Colour who received credits for entry-level Story Editor and Executive Story Editor positions rose in 2020 by 14% to 46.9% and by 5.5% to 52.6%, respectively. Both categories of credits have reached a parity zone, when population numbers in urban centres where writers’ rooms are often located are considered (visible minorities make 54% of the population in Toronto and 51% in Vancouver).
- Black writers have made strides to achieve representation in live action that is on-par with population numbers. The percentage of Black writers in live-action writers’ rooms increased from 8% in 2019 to 9.2% in 2020, and is slightly higher than population numbers in highly dense population centres like Toronto and Montreal. Other indicators such as writing credits show that there is still room for improvement.
Other observations on the 2020 data include:
- The participation of Indigenous writers decreased across the board in 2020. The share of Indigenous writers working on Canadian TV dropped to 1% in 2020 from 4% in 2019. No Indigenous writers were engaged in animation productions during the same period.
- The share of East Asian (1.4% in 2019 to 2.8% in 2020) and South Asian (3.2% in 2019 to 3.6% in 2020) writers increased slightly, but there's still work to do to achieve representation on-par with Canadian population numbers.
- The share of writing credits received by LGBTQ2S writers decreased across different formats. In live action, credits dropped from 8.6% in 2019 to 6.9% in 2020. When it comes to animation, writing credits going to LGBTQ2S writers decreased from 4.1% to 1.7% during the same period.