The Emmy Award Nominations Gender Gap Is As Bad As You Think It Is

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There's been a lot of love for strong women on TV this year, between Amy Poehler's last season as the unflinchingly optimistic Leslie Knope on Parks & Rec, Tina Fey's charmingly binge-worthy Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and pretty much anything and everything having to do with the inimitable Amy Schumer. Hell, we've even gone so far as to call it "The Golden Age Of Female Buddy Sitcoms." But as we get ready for tomorrow night's 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, it is important to note that the past decade has seen little to no change in the amount of women working behind the scenes in the television industry.

While the acting categories are divided by gender, a look at the Emmy nominations for writing, directing, producing, and editing from the past decade reveals a sadly unsurprising gender gap: In the last ten years, women have received only 22% of the nominations in these categories, according to an annual study by the Women's Media Center. By the numbers, this breaks down to reveal that out of all of the nominees showcased in the 44 writing, directing, editing, and producing categories between 2006 and 2015, only 2,074 of them were women; 7,485 of them, or 78%, were men.

As for how this impacts what we all see on the screen, “These are key behind-the-scenes roles, and the men and women in these roles have the power to decide and mold what the story is, who is in the story, and how the story is told," explained WMC president Julie Burton in a press release outlining the data. Matt Damon learned this the hard way earlier this week after his controversial statements about diversity behind the scenes in Hollywood dominated the news cycle.

Women fared the best (relatively speaking) in the producing category, where they make up 28% — or 1,640 — of the nominees. Men accounted for 72%, or 4,306, of the producing nominations. The toughest numerical breakdown is in the directing category, where female directors make up a mere 8% of nominees.

Maybe this is one of the many good reasons why Meryl Streep is funding The Writers Lab to support and mentor female writers?

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