Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
Geena Davis’ Two Easy Steps to Make Hollywood Less Sexist “We are in effect enculturating kids from the very beginning to see women and girls as not taking up half of the space." Read Geena's guest column in
The Hollywood Reporter
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They have made great strides to change the landscape of media and programming to reflect a more accurate, gender balanced, diverse portrayal of society.
– Nina Tassler, Chairman, CBS Entertainment
Kids need to see entertainment where females are valued as much as males.
In family films, there’s only 1 female character for every 3 male characters. For a well-balanced adventure, just add girls.
As L.A.'s only women's university, we are thrilled to partner with Geena Davis to create research that influences opportunities for women in media.
– Ann McElaney-Johnson, president of Mount St. Mary's University
No one has done more to bring strong, complex and truly inspirational female characters to both large and small screens.
– Wallis Annenberg,
Chairman of the Board, President
and CEO of the Annenberg Foundation

Gender in Media News

October 08, 2015 Planet ‘B’: How A Feminist Comic Book Found Devoted Fans Through Absurdity

When comic book writer Kelly Sue DeConnick got the opportunity to reimagine Captain Marvel as a blond, blue-eyed fighter pilot named Carol, she made changes to the character that some fans didn’t like. Carol now wears a flight suit — not the sexy dominatrix outfit she used to wear back when she was Ms. Marvel. For that, DeConnick was accused of having a feminist agenda. “You know, I’m pretty good, I have a pretty thick skin, and I can shrug most of this stuff off,” DeConnick told NPR’s Kelly McEvers. “But there was some kernel of: ‘This is not angry feminist. You want to see angry feminist?'” Read More…

October 07, 2015 Liza Donnelly – Stop looking at women’s magazines and call me in the morning

Liza Donnelly, cartoonist for the New Yorker, shares her cartoons with us. See this week’s cartoon…

October 07, 2015 This Chart Shows Hollywood’s Glaring Gender Gap

Early in their careers, WOMEN receive more movie roles than MEN. That trend reverses sharply after age 30 as men continue to receive an increasing number of roles through age 46 while women receive fewer and fewer. How much harder is it to make in Hollywood as a woman? While male actors see their careers peak at the age of 46, female actors reach their professional pinnacles at age 30, according to a TIME analysis of the careers of over 6,000 actors and actresses. And things aren’t getting better in the film industry: Women today who are the age of 60 are seeing the number of roles they are cast in decline faster than their older peers once did. At the same time, younger men are seeing their careers peak even later their older peers. Read More…

October 07, 2015 The Founders of a New Hollywood Diversity Program on How to Make Film and TV More Diverse

By now we all know the drill: Hollywood does not do a good job of representing diversity both onscreen and off. Every week, it seems, there are new statistics trotting out the same dire stats, and another A-list actor is taking the industry to task for not doing more to improve the landscape for those underrepresented groups. One filmmaking company hoping to move the dial forward is Big Vision Empty Wallet, a “film and media incubator” that works to foster the work of independent filmmakers: co-founders Dani Faith Leonard and Alex Cirillo have launched a program to incentivize more diverse films. Read More…

October 07, 2015 ‘Suffragette’ Writer Didn’t Set Out to Make a Feminist Film

As detailed in this week’s column, 2015 is a strong year for female-driven narratives on the big screen, particularly films making noise in the Oscar race. One of those films is “Suffragette,” written, produced and directed by women, with a story about voting equality at the turn of the 20th century. It’s a project years in the making with Emmy-winning writer and playwright Abi Morgan crafting the little-known history into dramatic form on the page. Morgan recently talked to Variety about the state of female empowerment in the industry, the hurdles “Suffragette” and other movies like it face every time the number crunchers get involved and the fact that she didn’t set out to specifically make a feminist film. Read More…

October 07, 2015 From Thelma and Louise to fighting Hollywood sexism: The making of Geena Davis

Shy would not be the first (second or third) word to come to mind when meeting Geena Davis in the flesh. But even the bonafide Hollywood goddess was wary, she admits, of criticising the industry that made her name. “For a long time I felt like I couldn’t complain because of what people would think,” admits Davis, 59, in her soft American drawl. “But it’s become safe to speak out. A lot of it is down to Meryl [Streep]’s example. She has been outspoken for a while and it gives other women encouragement.” Read More…

October 06, 2015 London Film Festival: Why 2015 is the year for strong women

The BFI London Film Festival, which kicks off on Wednesday this week, has proudly declared 2015 ‘the year of the strong woman’. Now in its 59th year, the festival has a rich history of diversity, showcasing progressive and challenging cinematic perspectives from all around the world. This year alone it will screen over 240 films from 72 countries. If there’s one corner of the film industry that’s going to bring an issue such as gender equality to the forefront, it’s surely the LFF. But make no mistake; it remains an industry that’s undoubtedly male-dominated. As festival director Clare Stewart tells me, the year of the strong woman looks to redress the balance. Read More…

October 06, 2015 Geena Davis Makes Women the Center of Attention With Her Institute

When Geena Davis’ daughter was a toddler, the Academy Award-winning actress noticed something unsettling about the content of children’s programming that her little girl was watching. “There were very few female characters in these series and films for kids,” Davis says. “Whenever I’d bring up this point to producers or studio executives, every single one of them would say, ‘No, that’s been fixed and we helped fix it.’ And then they would name a movie with one single female character in it — one. A vast majority of the people making (these shows) are unaware that there are so few female characters made for kids.” Read More…

October 06, 2015 Woman director’s latest film delivers an orgasm at last

In Nguyen Hoang Diep’s third, and first feature-length, film, “Dap canh giua khong trung” (Flapping in the Middle of Nowhere) which has been positively received at international film festivals, the woman finally has a great sexual experience only to find that it doesn’t last. Cleverly scripted and visually polished, Nguyen Hoang Diep’s films – her latest work and two earlier shorts – consistently explore the theme of sex, the desire felt by a confused woman. Read More…

October 06, 2015 Study shows how women directors get blocked in Hollywood

Throwing statistical fuel on what is quickly becoming a show-biz conflagration, a just-released study on gender inequality in Hollywood finds that women directors are disadvantaged from the very beginning of their careers — and the disadvantage only grows. And as its lead author put it, “when money moves in, women get pushed out.” The study released Tuesday – “Gender & Short Films: Emerging Female Filmmakers and the Barriers Surrounding their Careers” – was conducted by Stacy Smith, Ph.D., and her Media, Diversity & Social Change Initiative at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Read More…

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