If the TV inclusion report released Tuesday (Feb. 23) by the Directors Guild of America (DGA) teaches us anything, it’s that Latina TV series directors like Tanya Saracho (Vida), Aurora Guerrero (Gentified) and Zetna Fuentes (Jane the Virgin) should be appreciated not only for their talent behind the camera, but also because they really are a rarity in the industry.
While TV shows directed by women and POC have reached “new highs,” Latinas are still some of the most underrepresented groups in the TV directing pool. According to the report, which looked at the more than 4,300 episodes produced during the 2019-20 season, Latinas directed 2.4% of those episodes. In comparison, white males were at 43.3% and white females at 23.4%.
Men and women Latinos directed 7.2% of the episodes, up from 6% the year before. Latino directors alone were at 4.8%.
“While we see encouraging growth in some areas, we will not be satisfied until we see fairness for all,” said DGA president Thomas Schlamme in a statement. “Inclusion is not about one group or another, inclusion means everyone.”
If that’s the case, the network executives have a lot of work ahead of them if any of them are serious about leveling the playing field. Not only are Latina directors hard to come by, but Asian American females also come in at 2.1% and all Native American directors equal less than 1%.
Imagine how much more dismal the numbers for Latinas would look if a showrunner like Saracho–and a few others–didn’t surround herself with Latina directors and writers.