The Writers Guild of Canada has released a new Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Report with 2021 data. The initiative is part of the WGC and its Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (IDEA) 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 with Disabilities.)
The new report provides membership data from 2017 to 2021 and includes contract data from 52 live-action and 36 animated series that started production in 2021, in addition to the 342 series previously covered in the period from 2017 to 2020.
The data shows some marked increases in 2021, including:
- The percentage of diverse members joining the Guild continues to grow, with 59% of new members identifying as diverse in 2021.
- The percentage of WGC diverse writers working on TV has increased steadily from 18% in 2017 to 35% in 2021. The increase is largely explained by a higher participation of Black writers and writers of colour.
- In live action, 39% of writers identified as diverse and held 45% of the jobs in 2021, while in animation, 30% of writers identified as diverse and held 34% of jobs in 2021.
Other observations on the 2021 data include:
- The findings in the report strongly suggest that despite broad gains, there remains a “glass ceiling” for diverse writers. In live action, the share of writing credits earned by each diverse group was less than the percentage of diverse writers in the writers’ rooms, across most diversity categories. Black writers, for example, represented 14.5% of writers’ rooms in 2021, but only earned 7.2% of writing credits.
- The report also identifies specific groups where there is little to no growth. People with disabilities held only 1.7% of live action and 1% of animation jobs in 2021. Indigenous writers represented 2% of working writers and held 3.7% of live action and 0.5% of animation jobs in 2021.
- The share of East Asian writers working on Canadian TV increased from 2.8% in 2020 to 3.8% in 2021. Similarly, the percentage of South Asian writers increased to 5.6% in 2021 from 3.6% in 2020. However, both numbers continue to be low when compared to general population numbers where, for example, South Asian (20%) and Chinese (12%) are the top two visible minority groups in Toronto.
The full report is now available HERE.