The LA Times reported that this year's Emmy nominations mark the first time equal numbers of women have been nominated for episodic TV directing, despite the fact that only 15 percent of the 3,100 television episodes that aired during the 2011-2012 season were directed by women:
Of this season's 10 Emmy nods for directing episodic television, fully half recognize women -- three for comedy and two for drama. (Two women are also recognized in the movies and miniseries category, bringing the total to seven). That's the most in the history of the awards, and it's notable because the industry has been notoriously slow to admit women to the ranks of episodic television directors.
The female directors nominated include Lesli Linka Glatter for "Homeland" and Michelle MacLaren for "Breaking Bad" in the Drama category, and Beth McCarthy-Miller for "30 Rock," Gail Mancuso for "Modern Family" and Lena Dunham for "Girls" in the Comedy category.
As The Atlantic pointed out in July, this is the second time in three years that more women have been nominated in the Outstanding Directing category for a Comedy series than men. (The last time was in 2011.) This year Lena Dunham also became the first woman to win a Directors Guild of America award for directing a comedy series. Considering that the gender gap for TV directing and other behind-the-scenes jobs still unquestionably persists, these are heartening -- albeit small -- steps forward.
"It used to be there were no female comedy directors," McCarthy-Miller told the LA Times. "Then two years ago, three of us were nominated at once. No one said a word about it, but we were so excited we all went out to dinner together to celebrate."
Here's hoping that in the next few years, having women get nominated for awards will be par for the course and less of a cause for celebration.