News Archive

October 17, 2023

Banijay Unveils Global Accelerator Program Banijay Launch to Support Emerging Women Unscripted Creators

Media and entertainment powerhouse, Banijay, today launches a brand-new global accelerator program, designed to exclusively support women creators with promising unscripted formats. Unveiled at a prestigious breakfast in Cannes for MIPCOM 2023, Banijay Launch is geared towards discovering and incubating untapped talent, to support the next generation of global franchise makers.

Initiated by Sharon Levy, Chief Executive Officer, Endemol Shine North America, and co-led by James Townley, Chief Content Officer, Development at Banijay, Banijay Launch will provide a selected women mentorship by Banijay’s global collective of creatives to aid them in developing bold new formats from concept to pitch to sale, thereby supercharging the group’s burgeoning pipeline.

Conceived as an enterprise-level strategy to address gender inequity and fuel creativity, Banijay Launch will seek out undiscovered formats with international appeal, from an incredible pool of undiscovered women across the globe, providing a new opportunity for Banijay to further diversify both its talent and IP worldwide.

Banijay Launch was inspired by the Propelle program, a female-focused accelerator initiative created and developed in 2020 by Everywoman Studios’ CEO, Abby Greensfelder. With Levy and Endemol Shine North America partnering for two consecutive years with Everywoman Studios and Realscreen on the program, the pair have established a long-standing working relationship. Greensfelder consulted on the creation of Banijay Launch and will join the judging panel for the initiative’s inaugural year.

To support the program, Banijay Americas has commissioned a first-of-its-kind study with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, in partnership with Everywoman Studios. The institute is the only global data-driven, non-profit that researches diversity, equity, and inclusion onscreen in media and entertainment to mitigate unconscious bias, while fostering inclusion, and systematically reducing negative stereotyping. The ground-breaking study will investigate women’s inclusion in creative leadership roles in unscripted production across four distinct territories: Brazil, the U.K. and U.S., and one EU territory to be determined.

Entries are now OPEN at

How it works? Banijay will first select the top three to five finalists who will be mentored by a local creative (names disclosed in notes to editors) to develop their formats, with the aim of nurturing them to screen. The competition will culminate with a live pitch presentation before a judging panel led by Levy and Townley. Fellow judges include Marco Bassetti, Chief Executive Officer, Banijay; Pilar Blasco, Chief Executive Officer, Banijay Iberia; and Abby Greensfelder, Founder and CEO of Everywoman Studios. A winner will be crowned during London Screenings 2024.

Sharon Levy, CEO, Endemol Shine North America comments: “As a group, Banijay is constantly exploring new ways to support the broader content community, diversify its pipeline and ultimately, sharpen its creative edge. With an undisputed track record of travelling IP, expansive cross-territory network of first-class producers, and industry-leading unscripted infrastructure led by Creative Networks, the business is primed to open its doors to yet-to-be-discovered creative minds. Through Banijay Launch, and the partnership with the Geena Davis Institute, we hope to welcome women creators who may be struggling to have their voices heard, setting a new narrative for the industry, and fostering the next generation of break-out unscripted formats.”

Marco Bassetti, CEO, Banijay comments: “We are proud at Banijay to have over 50% of our managerial positions globally filled by women. However, we recognise the landscape has not always supported this demographic of creators in breaking through. With Banijay Launch, we are vested in spearheading a raft of new unscripted format ideas, ideated by women, and in doing so, we hope to bring new voices and talent to the market, with the potential of creating the next Survivor, MasterChef, or Big Brother…”

The initiative will capitalise on the infrastructure and expertise of Creative Networks, Banijay’s central unscripted content department co-led by Townley and Lucas Green, Chief Content Officer, Operations.

Read the Announcement on

June 22, 2023

Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media Research Shows Mars Advertisements Have Reached Gender Parity in On-Screen Representation

Mars introduced results from research commissioned with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media to assess representation of gender, race, identity, disability and age (60+) in the company’s advertisements that aired in 2022 worldwide. Mars began assessing representation of their advertising with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in the Media five years ago.

For the first time, Mars ads have reached gender parity – with female characters comprising 49.9% of all people shown across the company’s ads. This is a 51% increase in female character representation since the first assessment. Further, people of color comprise 63% of all people featured in Mars ads, which is a 117% increase since 2018. However, the research did identify areas for improvement in the representation of identity (1.6%), disability (0.6%) and age (2%).

“In the world we want tomorrow, society is inclusive, so it’s critical our award-winning advertising reflects and celebrates the diversity of the audiences who enjoy them and our products around the world,” said Andrew Clarke, Global President, Mars Wrigley “Mars has previously reported on gender diversity, but in the spirit of transparency and accountability, we’ve broadened the scope of our reports to also include racial diversity and LGBTQIA+, Disability and Age onscreen representation. We’re incredibly proud of the advancements we’ve made in terms of gender and race representation, but the truth is, we still have work to do to meet our vision of full representation balance in our advertising.”

In addition to looking at representation, the research evaluated character portrayals in activities such as shopping, driving, cleaning, cooking, working, socializing, eating/drinking and exercising. This latest report indicated very few instances of stereotyping and parity on both gender and race for situations such as who was speaking or positions of leadership. For example, in 2018, female characters were 5x more likely to be shown doing the cooking in Mars Food ads, whereas in 2022, male characters were shown cooking more often than female characters (55% compared to 29.2%).

The research leveraged the Geena Davis Inclusion Quotient (GD-IQ), a groundbreaking machine learning tool that also incorporates the University of Southern California Signal Analysis, Interpretation Laboratory’s (SAIL) audio-visual processing technologies and human expert coding. The team analyzed more than 974 people featured in 413 Mars advertisements across the company’s confectionery, petcare and food businesses.

“We’re proud of our long-term partnership with Mars and commend them for the progress they’ve made to enhance representation balance in their advertising,” said Madeline Di Nonno, CEO, Geena Davis Institute on Gender in the Media. “We also hope Mars’ transparency with these findings will also encourage the larger industry to prioritize the equitable inclusion and representation.”

Read the PR Newswire Press Release

June 12, 2023

Geena Davis on Making Show Business More Inclusive

Actor Geena Davis joined The TODAY Show and talked about kicking off the ninth annual Bentonville Film Festival (June 13–18, 2023) dedicated to making show business more inclusive.

Watch the Interview

June 12, 2023

Award-Winning Documentary “This Changes Everything” Gets Canadian Adaptation

The documentary “This Changes Everything” is getting a Canadian adaptation. Geena Davis and New York-based production house CreativeChaos will again partner for a new edition of their Gracie Award-winning film, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, and was released in U.S. cinemas in 2019 and globally distributed by Starz and Netflix.

The Canadian adaptation will draw attention to the critical issues specific to the Canadian media and filmmaking industries, including gender disparity, sexual harassment and the perpetual discrimination and underrepresentation of women, BIPOC and other marginalized groups.

CreativeChaos will produce alongside Quebec-based Poutine Studios, Palmina Productions and the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. Davis serves as executive producer, along with Tom Donahue, Ilan Arboleda, Madeline Di Nonno and Kerianne Flynn. For Poutine Studios, Debra Kouri is producer, and Natasha Gargiulo is producer for Palmina Productions. The production team is currently scouting a top Canadian female filmmaker to direct the project.

Davis said of the film: “When our Institute’s Canadian Council Chair, Natasha Gargiulo of Palmina Productions, came to us with the idea for a Canadian iteration, we went into action immediately, and we are excited once again to be teaming with CreativeChaos to make it happen.”

Read the Full Article

March 27, 2023

Geena Davis Institute Earns Candid’s 2023 Gold Seal of Transparency

The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media proudly announces that it has earned Candid’s 2023 Gold Seal of Transparency on GuideStar. The official seal recognizes philanthropic organizations that demonstrate a deep commitment to transparency, accountability, and inclusivity and operate from a position of strong financial health. Less than 2% of non-profits registered with Candid are recognized with a Gold Seal. This high rating underscores the Institute’s adherence to industry best practices and donation of philanthropic dollars responsibly and efficiently.

Donors can support the Institute’s work with trust and confidence, knowing that their contributions are working hard to promote gender equality and intersectional representation in media which will facilitate equitable representation and advance social justice onscreen and in real life.

Together, we can change the world – and Hollywood! Are you in? Explore our website to learn more about what we do, or make a donation here.

March 09, 2023

M&M’s “Flipping the Status Quo” Winners Announced

Celebrate the winners of M&M’s “Flipping the Status Quo” program, announced on International Women’s Day. Nominated by friends, family, and colleagues, these women are positively impacting the community around them. We are so excited to support these game-changing women and their missions!

View all the winners and their stories!

March 08, 2023

New Goddess Exhibition & Being Seen on Screen: The Importance of Representation Conference – April 5

Photos Credits: L-R: Laverne Cox in Paper Magazine, 2020, © Joshua Kissi. Marilyn Monroe, image by Milton H. Greene, © Archive on behalf of Milton H. Greene. 2007 SAKURAN Film Committee © Moyoco Anno/Kodansha. Winnie Harlow. Photo: Albert Sanchez

ACMI today announces a pivotal new partnership with two-time Academy Award-winning actor and advocate Geena Davis and the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. The iconic actor is set to travel to Melbourne as lead ambassador for the Melbourne Winter Masterpieces blockbuster, Goddess: Power, Glamour, Rebellion. The ACMI-curated exhibition opens at Australia’s national museum of screen culture on April 5, 2023 before touring internationally.

Globally renowned for her show-stopping performances in hits such as Thelma & Louise, A League of Their Own, Beetlejuice and The Accidental Tourist, Geena Davis is a true Hollywood movie star. Beyond her impact on screen, she is also a leader in leveraging research, education and advocacy to influence systemic change in onscreen character portrayals in global film, television, advertising and gaming through her Institute.

Goddess celebrates the pantheon of trailblazing women who fought the system that tried to exploit them. Showcasing more than 150 exhibition highlights, including never-before-seen costumes, original sketches, interactive experiences, large-scale projections and cinematic treasures, the exhibition interrogates the many stereotypes surrounding the screen goddess and honours the ground-breaking achievements of the screen’s revolutionary leading women.

In aligning with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media Goddess signals the work of these formidable figures is far from done – there are more boundaries to break, agendas to advance and systems to fight – while working towards a better future.

Speaking about her ambassadorship with ACMI, Geena Davis, said: “I’m so excited to be a launch partner for this ground-breaking exhibition and to lead important conversations about gender equality at the special Goddess event, Being Seen on Screen: The Importance of Representation. This one-day conference at ACMI will inspire discussion about equality, diversity and ageing on Australian screens – vital conversations to have if we are to make permanent change in the screen industry.”

Being Seen on Screen: The Importance of Representation Conference
April 5, 9am – 6pm

This one-day conference will galvanise conversations around gender representation and diversity on Australian screens through panel discussions and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see Geena Davis and her passionate call to action, live in conversation on April 5. The incredible speaker line up includes Madeline Di Nonno, President & CEO of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, and a cross-section of Australian screen industry talent including Michelle Cheng, Santilla Chingaipe, Jan Fran, Elaine Crombie, Sophie Hyde, Amy Marks, Pallavi Sharda, Anousha Zarkesh, plus award-winning writer, speaker and appearance activist Carly Findlay, and the 2023 Australian of the Year, award-winning filmmaker, bestselling author and founder of the Body Image Movement, Taryn Brumfitt.

Tickets to the provocative new exhibition and events program now on sale

February 22, 2023

18 Wonderful Films About Black Girlhood and the Coming-of-Age Experience

For many of us, cinema is an awakening. It is revelatory in that it can showcase what is possible. The moving image acts as a mirror, showing us who we are and giving us glimpses of who we could be. But what happens when you can’t see yourself?

In a 2019 study, the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media examined the Representations of Black Women in Hollywood. The organization determined that while Black girls and women are 6.5 percent of the U.S. population, only 3.7 percent of leads/co-leads in the 100 top-grossing films of the last decade fit that demographic. In short, for Black girls and teens, seeing themselves on screen is still a rarity.

Read the Full Article at IndieWire

January 09, 2023

Geena Davis: What I Know Now

Geena was interviewed by AARP, discussing her new memoir Dying of Politeness, the beauty of archery, dreams of being shorter, and why we need female presidents.

Read the Full Interview

January 06, 2023

Geena Davis on M&M’s for a Cause, ‘Thelma & Louise’, Fear, and More

Jim Clash at Forbes interviews Geena Davis about her film career and her work with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. They also discuss Mars, Inc., the candy company and long-time supporter of women’s causes, which is donating money to select female-championing organizations, and, for the first time, releasing all-female packages of M&M’s, featuring the female characters Purple, Brown and Green. One of the donation recipients is the Geena Davis institute. In a special M&M’s campaign, Mars, Inc. is looking for amazing women who are flipping the status quo and breaking boundaries, awarding $10,000 grants to select winners to fund their flip.

Read Part 1 of the Interview

Read Part 2 of the Interview