The Writers Guild of Canada and its Diversity Committee have prepared the first, of what will be an annual, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Report as part of the WGC’s efforts to work towards addressing issues of historic underrepresentation in Canadian television.
The report provides an overview of the composition of the WGC’s own membership from 2013 to 2019, and diversity in writers’ room configurations and writing credits earned by diverse writers working on scripted live-action and animated Canadian TV series. The WGC examined an average of 70 series per year and a total of 280 live-action and animated series that were contracted under the WGC’s jurisdiction between 2016 and 2019.
Among the key findings, where diversity groups are defined by the WGC as Indigenous, Black, LGBTQ2S, People of Colour, People Living with Disabilities, are:
- The percentage of new WGC members self-identifying as diverse has risen steadily from 14% in 2016 to 33% in 2019.
- The percentage of diverse writers working on Canadian TV series under WGC jurisdiction has risen from 16% in 2016 to 26% in 2019.
- In 2019, Indigenous screenwriters represented just 4% of working writers, with very few occupying senior-level writing positions
- Although Black people represented 8% of working writers in 2019, they earned 5% of writing credits in live action.
- Underrepresented groups make up a small percentage of animation writers and the number of People Living with Disabilities is low across all examined categories.
- An industry-wide move to shorter episode orders, smaller writers’ rooms and a marked decrease in the volume of Canadian-written shows—where hours of scripted programming commissioned fell by 82.6% at Bell Media, 65.1% at Corus Entertainment and 61% at Rogers Media between 2014 and 2019—has decreased opportunities for all Canadian screenwriters, and particularly for new and diverse screenwriters who face systemic barriers.
The report is intended to provide a snapshot of where the Canadian TV industry is sitting in terms of the composition of writers' room and will be updating the data on an annual basis moving forward.
The full report is now available on the WGC’s website HERE.