News Archive

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

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…

June 15, 2018

Institute CEO Madeline Di Nonno honored at WIF Awards

On Wednesday, June 13th, Women In Film, Los Angeles (WIF) celebrated outstanding women in the entertainment industry with the 2018 Crystal + Lucy Awards presented by sponsors Max Mara, Lancôme and Lexus. The evening, themed “Ignited,” raised funds and awareness for Women In Film, LA and its many educational and philanthropic programs, and its advocacy for gender parity for women throughout the industry. The 2018 Crystal + Lucy Award honorees included the following: Brie Larson with The Crystal Award for Excellence in Film presented to her by actress and friend Jessie Ennis; Channing Dungey with The Lucy Award for Excellence in Television presented to her by actress Ellen Pompeo. he evening also celebrated Women In Film, Los Angeles’ 45th Anniversary and recognized the leaders of the gender parity movement in Hollywood with the powerful “45 Years of Advocacy Celebration” segment presented by Oscar-winning actress Frances McDormand. Dr. Stacy L. Smith (Founder and Director, Annenberg Inclusion Initiative) accepted the honor on behalf of the 22 leaders from the past and present that attended. The group included Allison Anders (Filmmaker), Barbara Boyle (Film Producer), Madeline Di Nonno (The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media CEO), and others. Read More…

June 14, 2018

Watch Brie Larson’s Speech Calling for More Critics of Color

At the Crystal + Lucy Awards, the actress announced that the Sundance Film Festival and the Toronto Film Festival have pledged 20 percent of their press credentials to minorities to better reflect America. Larson was on hand to accept the Crystal Award for Excellence in Film Wednesday night at the Beverly Hilton when she dedicated her speech discussing the recent “Critic’s Choice” study, published by USC Annenberg on Monday. Citing the study, Larson said, “Of the 100 highest-grossing movies in 2017, less than a quarter of the critics were white women, less than ten percent were underrepresented men, and only 2.5 percent were women of color.” Madeline Di Nonno, CEO of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, challenged Hollywood’s inclusion of women beyond race and gender-identification. “But what about people with disabilities? It’s really about intersectionality,” she said. “When people think about diversity and inclusion, they forget gender and they forget that people can be a little bit of everything.” Read More…

June 07, 2018

Canon Club: Fireside Chat with Bill Mechanic and Madeline DiNonno

Join us to hear Bill Mechanic, Academy Award-nominated producer, former studio chief and architect of Walt Disney Studios’ groundbreaking home entertainment operation, in conversation with Madeline Di Nonno, CEO of the Geena Davis Institue on Gender in Media. Through Pandemonium Films, Mechanic most recently produced Academy Award nominees Hacksaw Ridge and Coraline. He previously was Chairman and CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment for seven years and earlier built Walt Disney Studios’ groundbreaking home entertainment operation. Read More…

June 04, 2018

Giordano Hong Kong’s ‘Cook’ campaign is why there should be more women in leadership positions

Hong Kong brand Giordano found itself in hot water in May after it published an ad campaign on Facebook that would have made even the most sexist of Mad Men execs blush. The ‘Team Family Series’ ad showed a family posing together, with the mum wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the word ‘Cook’. The dad’s shirt read ‘Work’. Unsurprisingly, the brand was forced to remove the ad after attracting howls of protest by outraged social media users, who branded the campaign ‘disgraceful’, ‘sexist’ and ‘unforgivable’, among other less-than-flattering adjectives. Read More…

May 30, 2018

‘Star Wars’: The Franchise’s Highest-Grossing Films Are The Ones That Give Female Characters More Screen Time

The latest round of “Star Wars” canon films have only further bolstered the franchise’s interest in creating compelling, singular female characters, from the continued legacy of Leia and Padme to new stars like Rey, Rose, and Captain Phasma, and a new study makes a case for the connection between female-led screen time and box office take. Author, film lecturer, and founder of the Glasgow Feminist Arts Fest Becca Harrison recently undertook a labor intensive process to figure out which “Star Wars” canon films (not including the just-released “Solo: A Star Wars Story”) include the most screen time for their female characters. When we recently spoke with actress and activist Geena Davis, she pointed out that her own Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, which was created with the express aim to “champion women and diversity in film,” had recently wrapped a study of the 100 top films from 2017 and found that films starring a female character made 38% more at the box office than films starring a male character. That such metrics would carry over to a franchise as popular and enduring as “Star Wars” is not shocking in the least. Read More…

May 26, 2018

Geena Davis to Receive 2018 Global Impact Award

Each year, the Womenomics Business Conference, founded by Above & Beyond, awards three extraordinary women, who are above & beyond in their respective fields, for their unique achievements and contribution to reach gender parity. Geena Davis will be receiving the 2018 Global Impact Award in recognition of her tireless advocacy for women and girls. Madeline DiNonno, Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media CEO, will be speaking at the Womenomics Nordic Business Conference in Copenhagen.