“I wanted to point out that there’s this great thing that you may or may not be aware of, called ReFrame, which is a partnership between the Sundance Institute and Women in Film Los Angeles,” Hurd said at San Diego Comic-Con. “They actually have a set of parameters that determine whether or not a project, film or TV show, is gender equal. And both season 9 and season 10 of The Walking Dead qualified.”
Hurd is a champion of the 10% for 50/50 campaign, which strives for gender parity in the industry. Under the initiative, launched in February, enlisted productions that demonstrate a gender balance are eligible for a 10% rebate.
“The truth is everything is decided on the bottom line,” Hurd said at the time when speaking at the Berlin Film Festival. “If you have 10% from a number of companies, that really adds up in a significant way.”
To determine if projects qualify for the rebate, 10% for 50/50 utilizes ReFrame’s program criteria and point system in which television programs must score four points among eight qualifiers.
These include points for female lead, female directors, female writing staff, female season regulars, female showrunner, female producer, designated female production personnel and female crew. ReFrame also awards additional points to content that features women of color in key positions.
Recognized television programs boasting an official ReFrame Stamp for the year 2017—2018 include Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., GLOW, Killing Eve, Orange is the New Black and Supergirl.
TWD installed longtime writer-producer Angela Kang as showrunner in Season 9, which further elevated roles for veteran female leads Michonne (Danai Gurira), Carol (Melissa McBride) and Maggie (Lauren Cohan).
The season also gave the series its first leading female villain, Whisperer leader Alpha (Samantha Morton), who will continue to menace the survivors in Season 10.
Showrunner-turned-chief content officer Scott Gimple told Us Magazine in 2018 Kang’s promotion to showrunner meant the zombie drama would tell “different stories” driven by its “incredibly powerful” female characters.
“I think that The Walking Dead is a place where you can find great female voices, great female artists and stories that honor female characters, not as a novelty but as intrinsic story value,” Gimple said.
The Walking Dead Season 10 premieres Sunday, October 6 on AMC.