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TV’s behind-the-camera bias also is shared by moviemakers: A scant 3.6 percent of directors on the 100 top-grossing films of 2009 and 13.5 percent of writers were women, according to a 2011 study by the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California.

The Oscars started in 1929, but it wasn’t until 2010 that a woman finally won a best director award, when Kathryn Bigelow took home the trophy for “The Hurt Locker.”

The Emmy Awards, past and present, tell the same tale.

This year, Dunham is the sole female directing nominee in all categories, including drama, comedy, miniseries and variety programs. Five women are nominated for writing drama and comedy, with a handful more scattered among the largely male writing staffs for variety shows including “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report.”

Since 1959, the debut of directing awards for comedies and dramas, three women have won: Betty Thomas in 1993 for “Dream On,” Karen Arthur in 1985 for “Cagney & Lacey” and Mimi Leder in 1995 for “ER.” Women have claimed somewhat more Emmy gold on the writing side, with about 15 trophies for comedy writing and eight for drama scripts.

If statistics are coldly revealing, everyday workplace accounts are unsettling.

“It’s a frustrating thing being the woman producer,” Kauffman said, even on a smash hit such as “Friends,” which she and David Crane created and produced.

“I still have a list of stories of how other women and I were treated in the network process,” she said. “Many times during `Friends,’ I thought it was a good thing I have a male partner and I can walk away and my head won’t explode.”

She’s saving the details for a post-retirement memoir, Kauffman said, wryly. She also found a comfortable niche and a chance to direct with “Georgia,” a short-form series that debuted this week as part of a YouTube channel, WIGS, focused on complex female characters.

Janis Hirsch, a veteran TV writer, said producers and writers, male and female, can be tough on women in the pressure-cooker world of TV. But her accounts of men behaving badly sound like absurdly outdated sitcom scenes.

Some men poison the work atmosphere by using raunchy sexual terms for women as a power play, she said. Others blatantly discriminate: One series producer made it clear Hirsch would be relegated to writing strictly for actresses.

“I’m sure some insurance agents hate women, too, but they have HR (Human Resources) to deal with,” Hirsch said. “We literally get told, `File a complaint and you’ll never work again.’”

Why is Hollywood’s shabby treatment of women _ ironic in an industry seen as a reliable champion of liberal causes _ so stubborn?

“This is not perceived as a problem by many of the individuals who could do something about it,” said San Diego State University’s Lauzen. “There’s a good deal of denial, and until that changes the numbers are not going to move.”

Kohan, whose “Weeds” wrapped on Showtime this month and who’s moving on to a new Netflix series, “Orange is the New Black,” said she doesn’t “think about the gender thing that often.”

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