News Archive

Here's the latest on the Institute and Geena Davis.

December 13, 2018

Geena Davis Talks Tracking Hollywood’s Diversity Data, Advocating for Women in STEM, and Not Playing Role Models

Geena Davis has spent her career playing complicated, powerful women onscreen–and working behind the scenes to address Hollywood’s endemic diversity problems. In 2004, the Oscar-winning actor founded the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, a nonprofit research organization that tracks onscreen portrayals of women and girls. Nearly 15 years later, as her industry reckons with #MeToo and Time’s Up, Davis is continuing to advocate for change–and to collect the data that makes a difference. Her latest target: the pitifully low numbers of onscreen women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM. A recent report published by the Geena Davis Institute, funded by the Lyda Hill Foundation, surveyed the past 10 years of popular films and TV shows and found some grim numbers: Almost 63 percent of fictional characters shown working in STEM are men, and more than 71 percent are white. Read More…

December 11, 2018

Movies Starring Women Earn More Than Male-Led Films, Study Finds

“Trolls.” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” “Moana.” “Inside Out.” “Wonder Woman.” All were global box-office hits that had women in leading roles. They were also part of a broader trend. According to findings from the Creative Artists Agency and shift7, a company started by the former United States chief technology officer Megan Smith, the top movies from 2014 to 2017 starring women earned more than male-led films, whether they were made for less than $10 million or for $100 million or more. Read More…

December 05, 2018

Diversity and Gender Equality Top Whistler Film Fest Mission

This year’s Women on Top series is in two parts. Earlier this year, Geena Davis, the founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, headlined a packed luncheon. And at the festival, attendees will hear from the institute’s CEO Madeline Di Nonno, who is also attending with the doc she produced, “This Changes Everything,” which premiered at TIFF earlier this year. In recent years, Di Nonno has noticed an increase in film festivals trying to support and advocate for intersectional women. “We’ve just seen this momentum building and building, so it’s wonderful that Whistler decided to take this on to support Canadian filmmakers and actors.” Read More…

September 29, 2018

Geena Davis takes a bow at the Women and Leadership conference

Geena Davis, Academy Award-winning actor and founder of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, made a pit stop in Boise on Thursday. Davis was one of the keynote speakers at the Andrus Center’s Women and Leadership event held at Boise State University. More than 1,000 attended the sold-out event. The Jordan Ballroom holds 900, but another room was opened up for the spillover — and spellbound — crowd. Davis spoke for about 45 minutes, covering a wide range of topics from the institute she founded to her Hollywood glamour. She became “passionately interested” in promoting gender parity after noting disparity in 2004 when she began watching movies and television shows with her daughter. “All the heroes were the male actors — and the ratio was way off,” she said. Read More…

September 24, 2018

The Documentary ‘This Changes Everything’ Explains Why Gender Equality STILL Hasn’t Happened In Hollywood

We hear it every time a movie that’s not predominantly about white men makes a lot of money at the box office: this is going to change everything. But while films like Thelma & Louise, Black Panther, and Hidden Figures have come and gone over the years, the output of Hollywood has yet to significantly shift. So the title of Tom Donahue’s and production studio CreativeChaos vmg’s documentary This Changes Everything isn’t a self-referential pat on the back — it’s an ironic reference to the film industry’s ongoing lack of parity. The director partnered with The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media to make the film, which paints an impressively full picture of how Hollywood’s gender imbalance is sustained and also how it reverberates throughout the culture. Davis herself serves as an Executive Producer, and during a dinner celebrating the movie hosted by producing partner Lyft during the Toronto International Film Festival, the actor and activist was realistic about the current state of things. Read More…

September 19, 2018

Why Geena Davis Thinks She’ll Have Succeeded As a Mother If None of Her Children Become Actors

Sure, she’s been out of the Hollywood spotlight for the past few years, but that doesn’t mean that Geena Davis — one of the most prolific actors of her generation — has been taking it easy. Following starring roles in classics like Thelma & Louise and A League of Their Own, through which she established herself as a feminist icon, the actress has taken a turn behind the camera. Davis is an executive producer for the recently released documentary This Changes Everything, which highlights the lack of female and minority representation in Hollywood. The film’s title, meant to bear a dose of irony, speaks to the media commentary surrounding every hopeful gain for women in the industry. Read More…

September 19, 2018

Geena Davis Knows Women Are Good for Hollywood’s Bottom Line. So What Gives?

Perhaps the set of Stuart Little isn’t where feminists expected to battle gender norms, but Geena Davis is the happiest warrior. Trust that she will open a frontline when she sees one. In the movie, Davis is Mrs. Eleanor Little, mother to George Little and Stuart Little, the mouse-son the family decides to take in. Once, between takes, Davis watched one of the second-unit directors line up extras for a scene in Central Park. George Little is meant to enter a boat race, and he needs some competition. So “[the director] found a little boy and gave him a remote control and had him sit on the edge of the water,” Davis recalls. “Then he found a little girl to come and stand behind him as his cheerleader.” Over and over, the pattern repeated: boy, contender; girl, admirer. It took Davis a second, and then it struck her: “Oh, wait a minute—we could do something different here.” She approached the director to make her case. She wanted an equal split, with both genders in both roles. Read More…

September 12, 2018

Geena Davis Says Fox ‘Reacted Appropriately’ by Cutting ‘The Predator’ Scene

The film explores the insidious and systemic sexism in Hollywood through the voices of celebrities like Davis, Meryl Streep, Sandra Oh, Jessica Chastain, and many other ambassadors of the #TimesUp movement. Its premiere is particularly timely, as just this week, Olivia Munn outed Fox and “The Predator” director Shane Black for casting Steven Wilder Striegel, a registered sex offender, in the film without the cast and crew’s knowledge. Davis, a longtime champion of women’s rights who founded the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, agreed that cutting the scene was the right move. “I think they reacted appropriately,” she said. “I think that was an unfortunate circumstance.” Davis said that she’s felt scared to speak up on sets before. Read More…

August 15, 2018

Geena Davis talks gender equality, says women are ‘encouraged to finally see some movement’

“Thelma and Louise” icon Geena Davis is “encouraged” that she’s seen more females in lead roles lately. “There’s lots of progress that can be made in our industry, but it’s encouraging to see some things changing and getting better,” Davis, 62, said at a panel titled “Funny Ladies: Serious Business” on Tuesday in Los Angeles. “In fact, we did a study of 100 top family films in 2017 – we found that female leads in family films have doubled between 2014 and 2017. Since these numbers have been stagnant for, like, ever, we’re encouraged to finally see some movement.” Read More…

June 18, 2018

Long-time warrior for women’s rights, Geena Davis finally sees a ‘tipping point’

Who among us has not evoked Thelma and Louise while on a road trip, or out at a bar, or on some other wild adventure? If you are of a certain generation, surely you have Thelma and Louise’d with a best girlfriend at some point. Driving through a desert with a good friend recently, I started to wonder: With the rise of #MeToo and #TimesUp, would Thelma & Louise still have to come to that shocker of an ending? Could the women not have found some other way out – or perhaps been able to extricate themselves from the circumstances that sent them on that dusty crime spree to begin with? Sometimes the universe (or your job) hands you an unexpected opportunity to explore your possibly hare-brained theory. On Friday, one of the film’s co-stars, Geena Davis, was in Vancouver to speak at the Whistler Film Festival’s Women on Top series – an initiative formed around the idea of bringing gender equality to film. Read More…

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