News Archive

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

April 17, 2020

Disability Representation In Family Films Hits Historic High

Characters with disabilities are increasingly playing leading roles in the nation’s most popular family films, according to a new analysis. There was a lead character with a disability in 8 percent of the 100 top-grossing family films last year, a historic high. By contrast, this statistic sat at just 1 percent for most of the last decade. The findings come from a report looking at the representation of race, gender, sexuality, age, body size and disability in films released in 2019 that was produced by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media at Mount Saint Mary’s University. Read More…

April 11, 2020

From iCarly to showcasing STEM careers: What Miranda Cosgrove is doing now

For six seasons, Miranda Cosgrove played a precocious teenager whose web show became an internet phenomenon on Nickelodeon’s iCarly. Now, she’s the host of Mission Unstoppable, a CBS Saturday-morning show that showcases female engineers, mathematicians, and astronauts doing all sorts of world-changing stuff. The show is executive produced by Cosgrove and actress Geena Davis, who believes the lively reports on superstars like Diana Trujillo — the head of the Mars Rover program — have already inspired young viewers in the series’ first season. “There’s a direct correlation between what happens on screen and what people do in real life.” Read More…

April 03, 2020

The Accidental Activist: See Geena Davis Change the World

ooking back from where Geena Davis stands now, it’s more than a little ironic that she made her film debut at 26 in the 1982 hit, Tootsie (in her skivvies no less), a film about a struggling actor (Dustin Hoffman) who, unable to find work as a man, poses as a woman and becomes a star. Fast forward to the present and you’ll find the actress, best known for her iconic performances in the female-driven films A League of Their Own and Thelma and Louise, and her Oscar-winning role in The Accidental Tourist, has emerged as a not so accidental activist for gender equality in entertainment targeting children and families. “The film that actually changed my life was Thelma and Louise,” Ms. Davis said. Read More…

March 23, 2020

Geena Davis Explains Why She Took Up Archery — and How She Almost Made the 2000 Olympic Team

Geena Davis has played several adventurous, physically demanding roles over the course of her acting career — baseball catcher, pirate queen, sleeper super-spy among them. But her greatest athletic challenge came in her personal life, when she became an Olympic-caliber archery champion at age 41. It all started as an unlikely notion, Davis, now 63, tells PEOPLE, when she was watching the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta and became fascinated with the sport of archery, where American Justin Huish won two gold medals. “They had a lot of coverage of archery because America was winning all the gold medals, And I was like Wow!” Read More…

March 18, 2020

Stay Connected With Us During Social Distancing – A Message from Geena Davis

We hope you are staying safe! We are all grappling with the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19, which is dramatically impacting our ability to connect, communicate and engage. Like all of you, we have also had to buckle down and postpone all of our live event programming and activities including our See Jane Salons, Global Symposiums, Influencer Screenings and presentations until the end of April. This decision was necessary to ensure the safety of our members and community partners, and of course, the Institute team. Read More…

March 06, 2020

Geena Davis’ Bentonville Film Festival Announces Date Change

Out of an abundance of caution and public health concerns regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19), and to prioritize the safety of our artists, partners, creators, brands, and team, the Bentonville Film Festival has made the decision to move the festival’s 2020 dates from April 29-May 2 to August 5-8. Read More…

March 06, 2020

Google Debuts Podcast on the Future of Marketing

The dominant player in digital advertising now has a podcast on digital marketing. Google released the first episode of a new podcast series today under its research and insights outlet, Think With Google. Each episode of the six-episode series will be 20 minutes long. “The podcast series … allows for a less formal conversation among marketers on some of the key topics that are most relevant to the industry,” said Kate Stanford, Google’s managing director for ads marketing. The first episode focuses on diversity and inclusion in marketing and features Google’s CMO Lorraine Twohill and Madeline Di Nonno, CEO of the Geena Davis Institute. While the podcast is about the future of marketing, it won’t specifically discuss the future of Google’s stronghold in digital advertising. Instead, Stanford said, the series will take a broader approach by discussing consumer behavior trends, effective marketing strategies and the changing role of the CMO. Read More…

March 05, 2020

Family films had as many women in lead roles as men for the first time, new study finds

Last year was a historic one for gender representation in family films. According to a new study from The Geena Davis Institute on Gender and Media, 2019 saw just as many female lead characters in family films as male lead characters.
In 2007, just 24% of family films featured female characters in lead roles. Last year, 48% of the 100 top-grossing family movies featured lead female characters. (For the purposes of the annual See Jane report, a family film was defined as any live-action or animated film that was rated G, PG or PG-13.) “Media images have a huge impact on how we see ourselves and judge our value,” Davis told CNN via email. “When you see someone like yourself reflected, you take in the message: ‘There’s someone like me, I must belong.’ This is why it’s vital for children to see — from the beginning — fictitious worlds that reflect the real world, which is half female and very diverse.” Read More…

February 19, 2020

Universal Teams With Geena Davis Institute, USC for Software to Increase Latinx Representation

Spellcheck for Bias will also be fine-tuned by industry advisers such as Kate del Castillo, America Ferrera’s company Harness and Will Packer Productions’ James Lopez. The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media has partnered with Universal Filmed Entertainment Group to pilot its “Spellcheck for Bias” digital tool, this time in order to help increase Latinx representation onscreen. Spellcheck for Bias, a collaboration between the Institute and USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering, analyzes scripts, manuscripts and advertising briefs to create a breakdown of characters and dialogue by gender, race, LGBTQIA identity and disability. Read More…

February 14, 2020

Geena Davis Remembers Brad Pitt’s Audition for (Shirtless!) Thelma & Louise Role: ‘He Just Had It’

Brad Pitt hasn’t forgotten his roots. The actor, who picked up his first acting Oscar on Sunday, made sure to thank actress Geena Davis during his speech. While it might seem random to some, it was a sweet nod to his breakout role in 1991’s Thelma & Louise opposite the iconic actress. Speaking to PEOPLE about the role, Davis, 64, remembers being impressed by a fresh-faced Pitt, then 26. “He just has ‘it.’ I could tell when he was auditioning that he was super talented,” she tells PEOPLE in this week’s cover story. Read More…

IF SHE CAN SEE IT, SHE CAN BE IT