Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media

News Archive

Here's the latest in Gender in Media news from around the world.

October 09, 2015 Geena Davis predicts ‘historic’ rise in number of female film characters

Hollywood is poised to make “historic” improvements in the number of female characters in films within 10 years, the actor Geena Davis has predicted, after decades in which the comparatively low numbers of women and girls onscreen have not risen. The Oscar-winning actor told the Guardian she was very confident that filmgoers would notice differences in mainstream Hollywood movies within the next few years, in part thanks to work she has done lobbying producers and directors to include increased numbers of less cliched female characters in their films. Read More…

October 09, 2015 London Film Festival: Geena Davis Calls for Gender Equality in Family Entertainment

The actress said research from her own institute showed there was a “powerful negative message” in children’s content. With Suffragette opening the BFI London Film Festival on Wednesday night and the event having been labeled “The Year of the Strong Woman” by organizers, Geena Davis continued the theme of gender equality on day two of the event. Read More…

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…

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