WMC Press Releases

70 percent of Primetime Emmy nominees in non-acting roles are men

Infographic: Women's Media Center investigation: 2018 review of gender and Emmy non-acting Primetime nominations


WASHINGTON, D.C. — Men received 70 percent of the non-acting nominations in the 2018 Primetime Emmy Awards, according to a new report published by the Women’s Media Center.

In a year when women’s voices have been particularly loud and the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements have challenged sexual harassment, assault, misogyny, and sexism in media and beyond, the number of women nominated for Emmys in directing, producing, writing and editing – the most influential categories – remains unchanged from 2017 at 26 percent.

Overall, the percentage of non-acting Primetime Emmy Award nominations inched up a mere two percentage points to 30 percent.

“The numbers over the past year show little change in the status of female creators in television,” said Julie Burton, President of the Women’s Media Center. “Improvement has been slow — both in the employment numbers of women in key behind-the-scenes roles and in the number of women nominated for their achievements and impact as writers, directors, producers, or editors. We hope the #MeToo revelations of the past year will soon lead to sweeping transformations in Hollywood’s hiring and firing processes and that we will begin to see more equal and inclusive teams in front of and behind the camera.”

WMC research showed that women took a sizable hit in the directing categories, representing just 6 percent of the total directors nominated this year – down from 10 percent in 2017. This means that 94 percent of all directors nominated were men. The percentage of women nominated in the editing and producing categories stayed the same as last year at 20 percent and 31 percent respectively. This means 80 percent of all editing nominations went to men and 69 percent of all producing nominations were given to men. There was some good news in the writing categories, where the percentage of women nominated inched up slightly, to 23 percent from 21 percent in 2017, but, still, even with this improvement, 77 percent of all writing nominations were given to men.

More men were nominated than women in every one of the 43 producing, editing, writing, and directing categories, bar one. Three women and three men were nominated in Outstanding Writing For A Comedy Series.

Men also dominated in the categories not included in directing, producing, editing and writing. In those categories, 65 percent of the nominees were men and 35 percent were women. Women were particularly strong in the casting categories (82 percent), costume categories (81 percent), makeup categories (64 percent), and hairstyling categories (59 percent). Men and women nominees shared the spotlight in the interactive program categories. Nominations for men dominated in the lighting/lighting design categories (98 percent), cinematography categories (94 percent), sound categories (88 percent), and music categories (82 percent).

It is worth noting that a number of well-known women were overlooked this year, including Ava DuVernay, who gathered an all-female directing team and garnered critical acclaim for Queen Sugar, and Jodie Foster, who missed being nominated for her direction on Black Mirror’s “Arkangel” episode. Issa Rae, who was nominated for her acting, was also overlooked for her work behind the camera.

Notable female artists who were nominated include Queen Latifah and Katie Couric for Flint and Leah Remini for Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath.

Female-driven programming like The Handmaid’s TaleThe Marvelous Mrs MaiselThe CrownGodless, and GLOW all earned 10 or more nominations for Primetime Emmy Awards.

There are a total of 43 writing, directing, producing, and editing categories: six writing; eight directing; 21 producing, and eight editing. There are a total of 53 other non-acting categories, making a total of 96 non-acting categories – eight more than in 2017.

The 70th Annual Primetime Emmys award ceremony will be broadcast live on NBC Monday, September 17, 2018, at 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time, 8 p.m. Eastern.

Full report: Women's Media Center Investigation: 2018 review of gender and Emmy Primetime non-acting nominations

Infographic: WMC Investigation: 2018 gender and Emmy Primetime non-acting nominations

This report was written by Teresa Stone and edited by Kate McCarthy and Barbara Findlen.

Tiffany Nguyen, WMC program associate, conducted this research. The Emmy analysis was drawn using information from Emmys.com. An individual was counted only once per category even if they were nominated multiple times in the same year for the same award.

 The Women’s Media Center, co-founded by Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan, and Gloria Steinem, is an inclusive and feminist organization that works to raise the visibility, viability and decision-making power of women and girls in media to ensure that their stories get told and their voices are heard. We do this by researching and monitoring media; creating and modeling original online, print and podcast content; training women and girls to be effective in media; and promoting women experts in all fields. 

For more information, contact Cristal Williams Chancellor, director of communications, at cristal@womensmediacenter.com or 202-270-8539.

Full report: Women's Media Center investigation: 2018 review of gender and Emmy Primetime nominations

Infographic: Women's Media Center investigation: 2018 review of gender and Emmy Primetime nominations

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