In partnership with:

The Think Tank for Inclusion & Equity (TTIE) partnered with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media to conduct a study that examines the associations between behind the scenes representation and media representation. To examine these associations, a survey and focus groups were conducted. Participants in both the focus groups and the survey consisted of television writers ranging from lower to mid level writers.

Key Findings

  • A total of 73.7% of female respondents reported having faced gender/sexual discrimination or harassment.
  • A total of 58.6% of underrepresented writers have experienced discrimination or sexual harassment, 1.5 times the rate of overrepresented writers (39.7%).
  • A total of 11.9% of underrepresented writers who reported incidents of discrimination, bullying, and/or harassment were fired.
  • Inclusion seems to be improving for BIPOC and female writers. Nevertheless, 93.0% of writers said their most recent writers room had no disabled writers, 79.6% had no lower-level writers who were age 50+, and 25.3% had no LGBTQIA+ writers.
  • Representation at the upper levels is still lacking, with 97.4% of writers reporting that their most recent writers rooms had no upper-level disabled writers; 56.0% had no LGBTQIA+ upper-levels, and 34.4% had no BIPOC upper-levels. 
  • A total of 35.8% of underrepresented writers had to repeat staff writer level positions, while only 24.2% of overrepresented writers had to do the sam.e While this remains a troubling disparity, this number has improved since last year’s report, which showed 49.2% of underrepresented writers repeated staff writer positions. 
  • While 25.0% of writers were praised and/or promoted for pushing back on problematic content, 10.5% were reprimanded and/or fired or not asked back.
  • Underrepresented writers were twice as likely to be penalized via the aforementioned mechanisms for speaking out against problematic content (12.4%) compared to overrepresented writers (5.1%).


  • Collect, track, and review inclusion and equity data for all TV writers rooms, as well as within the ranks of non-writing producers, executives, and representatives.
  • Fully fund a neutral, third party reporting system for bias, discrimination, and harassment that prioritizes and protects victims.
  • Review and eliminate bias and/or discrimination in staffing, development, pay equity, and career advancement.
  • Hire underrepresented writers at all levels for skill sets independent of their identities.