Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media

News Archive

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

January 13, 2017 How girls use social media to build up, break down self-image

It’s not a law that you have to post a selfie before, during, and after every activity. But for kids, it’s pretty much mandatory. The resulting likes, thumbs-ups, and other ratings all get tallied, both in the stark arithmetic of the Internet and in kids’ own minds. For some — especially girls — what starts as a fun way to document and share experiences can turn into an obsession about approval that can wreak havoc on self-image. Read More…

January 12, 2017 Susan Sarandon, Jessica Lange on Difficulty of Aging in Hollywood: ‘I Don’t Think It’s Changed Very Much’

On the surface, “Feud” is about a woman vs. woman rivalry, but creator Ryan Murphy says the idea for the show actually came to him because of his progressive conversations with women in Hollywood. FX’s latest anthology series “Feud” centers on the legendary backstage battle between Joan Crawford and Bette Davis, played by Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon, respectively. Murphy explained on Thursday at the Television Critics Association winter press tour in Pasadena, Calif., that he had “lots of discussions with women in the entertainment business … and what came out of that for me was a lot of very moving sentiments from women.” Read More…

January 12, 2017 ‘Equity’ producer: a show about strong women ‘is needed more than ever’

Film writer, producer and actor Sarah Megan Thomas had hoped to see Hillary Clinton in the White House, but she isn’t wallowing in disappointment. It’s her mission to show complex female characters — strong, flawed, human — in the hopes of bringing about change. Her 2016 film, “Equity” — a story about a woman climbing the ladder on Wall Street — was written, produced and directed by an all-female team. Now that movie is being adapted into a TV show for ABC. Read More…

January 12, 2017 Alex Cohen named 89.3 KPCC’s ‘Morning Edition’ host

Veteran journalist and award-winning public radio news host Alex Cohen will become 89.3 KPCC’s voice of “Morning Edition” beginning Feb. 13. Cohen is well known to KPCC listeners, having served as co-host of the station’s award-winning morning news magazine, “Take Two,” for the past four years. A native Angeleno, she first joined the station as host of “All Things Considered” after working as a host and reporter for NPR and the former national program “Day to Day.” Before that she worked for KQED. Read More…

January 11, 2017 Actress, activist Geena Davis named keynote speaker for Christus LiveWell Women’s Conference

Acclaimed, award-winning actress Geena Davis will keynote the 10th annual CHRISTUS LiveWell Women’s Conference, an all-day event showcasing the latest in health and wellness on Thursday, May 11 at Ford Park in Beaumont. “Geena Davis epitomizes in her roles and in her daily life the grace, beauty, creativity, compassion, and power of a woman,” Becky Howard, CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Health System conference lead, said. “We are honored that she will help us celebrate 10 years of discovering, reviving and shining all of the qualities that make us the women we are.” Read More…

January 11, 2017 Geena Davis Hopes 2017 Brings Greater Gender Equality In All Media

The air was crisp and wintery in mid-December, its cool breeze adding to the jubilant mood as production professionals walked through the grounds at the William Turner Gallery at Bergamot Station. The holiday party this diverse group of professionals, from writers to producers, actors to agents, was attending at the art complex went beyond the typical networking mixer. It was a special fundraising event for the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, held to support the continued research and activities the non-profit is engaged in. In between the cocktail hour and a live music performance, Golden Globe and Oscar winning actress Geena Davis addressed the crowd with her hopes for 2017. “The entertainment industry is the one sector in society with a big imbalance that really can be changed overnight,” said Davis. “When you go back to your studio or the project you are working on, change some male names to female names. Make sure half a crowd scene is composed of women. Make the doctor or the lawyer (in your project) a woman.” Read More…

January 10, 2017 Making of ‘Hidden Figures’: How Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Pharrell Williams Revisited the ’60s to Tell an Untold Story of Space, Sexism and Civil Rights

That vision, which is prospering at the box office after first landing in select theaters on Dec. 25, is an early 1960s-set drama with an original score by Pharrell Williams that stars Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monae and Octavia Spencer (who was nominated for a Golden Globe for her role). Set against the backdrop of that red, white and blue symbol of Kennedy-era optimism and ambition — the U.S. space program— it tells the tale of a trio of brilliant black women, Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson, who performed mission-critical computations for the Gemini program but who still had to walk a half-mile to use the “colored only” bathrooms and endured other indignities of the Jim Crow South. Figures is the first Hollywood film to focus on — or even much acknowledge — the sin of segregation at the heart of the space race. Read More…

January 10, 2017 How Box Office No. 1 ‘Hidden Figures’ Is Inspiring Black Girls to Code

We know that STEM—science, technology, engineering, and math—is vital to winning in the workplace, but who knew that it is also key to winning at the box office? Hidden Figures, the film that tells the story of a group of female African-American mathematicians who played a key role at NASA in the 1960s, just edged out Star Wars juggernaut Rogue One to take the No. 1 slot in the weekend box office, with an estimated $22.8 million in tickets sold. Read More…

December 23, 2016 How Geena Davis is Combating Hollywood Sexism

Actress Geena Davis may be best known for her iconic feminist role in Thelma and Louise, but today she’s working to improve the types of roles actresses across the industry are cast in. Davis says, “[Hollywood] is the one sector in society with a big imbalance that can change overnight.” Watch Video…

December 21, 2016 Octavia Spencer on ‘Hidden Figures,’ Diversity in Hollywood and a Post-Election Call to Action

So interdependent, and yet utterly distinct, are the three principal players in “Hidden Figures” that it wasn’t immediately apparent which, if any, would be singled out by major awards groups for attention. All three are given plenty to chew on in director Theodore Melfi’s rousing, true-but-little-known story of three female African American mathematicians promoted from NASA’s racially segregated computing division to vitally assist the space race in the mid-1960s. But it’s Octavia Spencer who has nailed down Golden Globe and SAG supporting nominations, five years after winning an Oscar for her turn as a memorably vengeful domestic worker in “The Help.” Read More…

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