Diverse TV writers experience workplace discrimination

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Californians might believe that the entertainment industry is less likely to discriminate against workers based on their protected characteristics. However, a study reveals that workplace discrimination against diverse television workers is a pervasive problem.

The study was conducted by a group of TV writers and a therapist to examine how writers who have disabilities, are people of color, are LGBTQ, or who are women or nonbinary are treated in the workplace. The report reveals that 64 percent of the diverse writers experienced discrimination, bias, or harassment at work. An additional 58 percent reported that they were targeted for microaggressions at their jobs.

Some writers reported that ideas that they pitched were rejected. However, when non-diverse writers later submitted the same ideas, they were accepted. The study found that diverse writers may have been hired to fulfill diversity hire requirements but were not provided with opportunities to advance in their careers. Among the participants in the survey, 68 percent reported that they were non-binary or women and 67 percent were people of color. Another 32 percent were LGBTQ, and 14 percent were people with disabilities.

Workplace discrimination on the basis of protected characteristics is illegal under both state and federal law. People who believe that they have been the victims of workplace discrimination because of their protected statuses might want to consult with experienced employment law attorneys who might advise their clients on how to file internal complaints and to gather the evidence that they will need. If the complaints are not properly investigated or handled by the employers, the attorneys might assist their clients with filing discrimination charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the Department of Fair Employment and Housing.