News Archive

January 12, 2022

Geena Davis on the Allison Interviews Podcast

Geena Davis, Founder & Chair of the Geena Davis Institute, sat down with Allison Kugel for an episode of ALLISON INTERVIEWS to discuss Thelma & Louise, her Oscar win, gender equality, ageism, and more.

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Listen on Spotify Podcasts

Read & Listen on Allison Kugel’s Blog

December 07, 2021

Behind the Screens Podcast Talks Representation in Film

Madeline Di Nonno, President and CEO of the Geena Davis Institute joins a podcast episode of Behind the Screens to talk representation, research, data, and measuring the success of the Geena Davis Institute’s impact on representation in film.

Listen on Movio

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Listen on Spotify Podcasts

December 06, 2021

Geena Davis Institute Expands Spellcheck for Bias Partnership With NBCU to Analyze Black and AAPI Representation

The digital tool’s yearlong pilot run focused on Latino representation and yielded adjustments in 20 percent of the scripts tested. NBCUniversal and the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media are expanding their Spellcheck for Bias partnership to cover how Black and Asian American Pacific Islander people and characters are hired and also portrayed.

Read The Hollywood Reporter article

Read the Deadline article

December 06, 2021

Lego Vows to Remove Gender Bias from Toys Following Geena Davis Institute Survey

The global survey the Geena Davis Institute produced in partnership with LEGO has garnered extensive news coverage around the world. Below are a few highlights:

Washington Post:
LEGO pledges to make toys more gender-neutral and eliminate stereotypes after global survey.

Al Jazeera English:
Our CEO Madeline Di Nonno spoke with Al Jazeera News about our partnership and global survey with LEGO.

The Guardian:
LEGO to remove gender bias from its toys after findings of child survey.

Good Morning America:
LEGO says it’s removing gender bias from its toys after new research.

November 17, 2021

Define American Releases Comprehensive Resource Guide for Best Practices on Immigrant Representation in TV and Film

Define American, a media advocacy and culture change organization that uses the power of narrative to humanize conversations about immigrants, has released today the 2021 edition of Telling Authentic Immigrant Stories: A Reference Guide for The Entertainment Industry, a comprehensive reference tool written for content creators, studios and production companies within Hollywood. With a focus on television and film, the guide is meant to inform and encourage best practices in telling immigrant stories and includes detailed descriptions, definitions, historical timelines, data and resources about specific communities, as well as insight into evolving topics such as DACA and climate displacement.

Define American, which has consulted on over 100 television and film projects including such popular TV shows as Grey’s Anatomy and Superstore, first released its entertainment media guide in 2017. The newly updated edition incorporates data and key findings from the organization’s 2020 television impact study published with USC Annenberg’s Norman Lear Center in which it revealed that only 12% of immigrant characters on TV consisted of AAPI immigrants – a community that represents 26% of the U.S. The resource also spotlights the Black immigrant population, revealing there were no depictions of Black undocumented characters on TV in 2019, according to the same study. The updated guide’s spotlight on AAPI and Black immigrants were produced in partnership with Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC) and The UndocuBlack Network, respectively.

Providing further critical insight into a timely global issue, Define American, in partnership with NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) and the International Refugee Assistance Project, also illustrates in the guide the current realities of climate displacement facing immigrant communities across the globe.

“Our research shows that immigrants continue to be underrepresented on screen. As such, Hollywood has a unique opportunity, a unique power, and a unique responsibility to meet the moment and make meaningful cultural change by authentically and accurately telling the disparate stories of our country,” said Emmy-nominated filmmaker and Tony-nominated producer Jose Antonio Vargas, founder of Define American. “We are making great strides forward with more diverse and equitable hiring in front of and behind the camera, more inclusive stories, more immigrant writers, but we still have much work to do. We encourage content creators at every level to use this guide as a starting point in that journey.”

Commenting on the news, Nico Santos, star of Superstore and Crazy Rich Asians, stated: “The Define American team did amazing work with us at NBC’s Superstore over the years and helped me and the writers bring so much nuance to my character, Mateo. Even though I share so much of my personal journey with him – we’re both Filipino queer immigrants – the immigrant experience is not a monolith, and Define American is an incredible resource for those in the industry who want to tell our stories authentically.”

While immigrant experiences are broad and multi-faceted, narratives around immigration and the stories of undocumented people often play a key role in having enriched our nation and society. In addition to its entertainment media guide, Define American has released several other research studies and resource guides, including its report titled American Dreaming: The Roadmap to Resilience for Undocumented Storytellers, which highlights the mental health of undocumented storytellers in the movement. Define American is also one of the only organizations to provide grants that prioritizes undocumented and formerly undocumented artists.

To download “Telling Authentic Immigrant Stories: A Reference Guide for the Industry,” visit:

November 11, 2021

New #WriteInclusion Factsheet on Veterans Representation in Media

On this Veterans Day, we are proud to share a new #WriteInclusion Factsheet with tips on accurate, authentic storytelling about veterans.

What we put on screen impacts the way people move through society. It’s time the stories we tell responsibly reflect the world we live in, such as the authentic representation of U.S. military veterans. Write out harmful stereotypes!

Download the new Factsheet now at:

November 08, 2021

How Geena Davis is Fighting for Better Representation of Women On-Screen

Geena discusses her pioneering work with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and how she has helped change the statistics around representation in Hollywood.

Watch the Fast Company interview:

July 29, 2021

Thinking Outside the Man Box

Geena Davis and Glow-Up Games CEO Mitu Khandaker discussed the results and takeaways of our new study about masculinity in games and online communities at the Game Developers Conference.

Read the article:

July 29, 2021

Geena Davis on Increasing Opportunities for Women on Screen

Geena Davis sat down with “CBS Sunday Morning” to discuss representation on-screen and her work with the Institute.

Thirty years after the Oscar-winning actress starred in the transcendent tale of female friendship “Thelma & Louise,” Geena Davis is still fighting to improve opportunities for women in the film industry. She talked with correspondent Tracy Smith about seeking change in front of, and behind, the camera; playing an athlete (and becoming one); and what she’d like her headstone to read.

Watch the “CBS Sunday Morning” interview:


April 15, 2021

CAA Launches Initiative to Improve Representation in Entertainment

Launched on Tuesday, April 13, The Full Story Initiative will act as an industry-wide resource with the purpose of generating “authentic narratives in television and film for a more equitable future,” according to the mission statement. The Full Story Initiative will connect creators at every level of entertainment with a nonprofit advisory board to support representation efforts. The Institute is proud to partner with CAA on the Full Story Initiative. Read More…