News Archive

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

October 28, 2019

Stars advocate for progress at honorary Oscars event

Inequality in the film industry got a high-profile spotlight at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ 11th annual Governors Awards. Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award recipient Geena Davis asked everyone in the room to not make another movie without doing a “gender and diversity pass” on the script first. Read More…

October 28, 2019

David Lynch Gave the Shortest Oscar Acceptance Speech Imaginable

Brevity is not a virtue typically observed at award shows, but David Lynch gave it a spin at Sunday night’s Governors Awards. The Mulholland Drive director was on hand to accept an honorary Academy Award—alongside fellow honorees Geena Davis, Wes Studi, and Lina Wertmüller—and he did so quickly, delivering a speech that clocked in at well under a minute. “To the Academy and everyone who helped me along the way, thanks,” he said. Then, he spoke to the Oscar: “You have a very nice face. Good night.” Or did he say “fate”? According to Vanity Fair’s Anthony Breznican, who was on the scene, there was some debate in the room about which one he said—and given that it’s David Lynch, either seems entirely possible. Read More…

October 28, 2019

The Oscars Are Trying To Make Up For A Century Of Ignoring Women Directors

On Sunday night, the Governors Awards spent the majority of its time preoccupied with the place within the industry of a group of artists who aren’t a minority at all: women. Along with Studi and director David Lynch (Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks) — whose acceptance speech was just 33 seconds long — the Governors Awards this year celebrated Italian filmmaker Lina Wertmüller, the first woman ever to be nominated for Best Director, and actor Geena Davis, who earned the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award for her pioneering efforts to bring gender parity to on screen representation. In her acceptance speech, Davis cited research from her namesake Institute on Gender in Media that 81% of characters who have jobs in feature films are men, and the number of women depicted in top-level jobs on screen is even lower than in real life. “So in other words, however abysmal the numbers are in real life, it’s far worse in fiction, where you make it up!” Davis said, to knowing laughter and applause. “We make it worse than real life.” Read More…

October 28, 2019

Geena Davis wins honorary Oscar for fighting onscreen gender bias

U.S. actress Geena Davis was awarded an honorary Oscar at the 2019 Governors Awards on Sunday for her efforts to promote a more balanced representation of women onscreen. Davis was handed the famous statuette, representing the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, for her work as founder of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media which she established in 2004. Previous winners of the award include Audrey Hepburn, Oprah Winfrey, Elizabeth Taylor and Angelina Jolie. In her acceptance speech, Davis repeated a call for gender equality in film and television, saying it was a problem that “can be fixed absolutely overnight,” according to a Reuters report. Read More…

October 27, 2019

Geena Davis’ 8 Essential Film Performances, From ‘Thelma & Louise’ to ‘The Fly’

Geena Davis won her first Academy Award in 1989 for her supporting turn in Lawrence Kasdan’s “The Accidental Tourist,” but Sunday night will receive one of the Academy’s highest honors, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, for her work as an activist in Hollywood. Since founding the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media in 2004, Davis has used her global pulpit as a celebrated actress of four decades (going back to 1982’s “Tootsie”) to champion parity for women and challenge female stereotypes throughout entertainment. Looking back on her storied filmography, it’s easy to see how that passion for authenticity in storytelling translated through work in front of the camera as well, with powerful roles in films such as “Thelma & Louise,” “The Long Kiss Goodnight,” “A League of Their Own,” and more films that queried the status quo for female representation onscreen. Read More…

October 27, 2019

Geena Davis Accepts an Honorary Oscar at Governors Awards 2019!

Geena Davis looks stunning while accepting her award at the 2019 Governors Awards on Sunday night (October 27) at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood. The 63-year-old actress, who previously won the Best Supporting Actress award for her work in The Accidental Tourist, received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. The award is given “to an individual in the motion picture arts and sciences whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry.” Read More…

October 27, 2019

Governors Awards: Honorees Lina Wertmüller, Geena Davis Call for Gender Parity in Hollywood

Oscar got a name change — and a jolt of feminine power Sunday night at the Governors Awards. “She would like to change the Oscar to a feminine name,” Isabella Rossellini said, translating as Italian director Lina Wertmüller accepted her honorary Oscar. “She would like to call it ‘Anna.’ Women in the room, please scream, ‘We want Anna, a female Oscar!'” Also during the black-tie dinner at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at the Hollywood & Highland Center — where the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences conferred its honorary Oscars a few weeks earlier than usual this year — Geena Davis, 63, became the 39th recipient of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, which celebrates “outstanding contributions to humanitarian causes” for building upon her acting career in films like The Accidental Tourist, Beetlejuice, Thelma & Louise and A League of Their Own to become an advocate for gender equality in media. Read More…

October 27, 2019

Academy’s Governors Awards Puts Spotlight on Gender Parity

Lina Wertmüller wants to see a big change for the Oscars. The 91-year-old Italian director had Isabella Rossellini acting as her translator while accepting her honorary Oscar on Sunday night at the Academy’s Governors Awards in Hollywood. “She would like to change the Oscar to a feminine name,” Rossellini said. “She would like to call it ‘Anna.’” Earlier in the program, Geena Davis was honored with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award for her work fighting for gender-parity in media through her Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. “The message we are sending [in society] is that men and boys are far more valuable to us than women and girls,” she said. Constance Wu presented to Davis, as did her “A League of Their Own” co-star Tom Hanks. Read More…

October 10, 2019

‘Thelma & Louise’ Star Geena Davis Turns Rebel On The Run Once More In ‘Cowgirl’s Last Ride’ From Resonate Entertainment

With echoes of her role in 90s classic Thelma And Louise, GLOW and Eve star Davis will play Fay, an ailing but still rebellious Texas cowgirl who escapes a Dallas nursing home to live what’s left of her life on her own terms. She makes a perilous journey back to her native East Texas— first by truck, then by horse—while being pursued by her well-meaning adult son Randall (still to be cast), who can’t help but care about his mother despite the dysfunction he experienced as a child, and well into his adult life. Read More…

October 04, 2019

Geena Davis calls Hollywood gender imbalance an ‘embarrassment’

The under-representation of women in Hollywood behind the camera is an “embarrassment”, American actor and activist Geena Davis said at France’s Deauville Film Festival. Davis, who starred in the cult classic Thelma and Louise with Susan Sarandon, criticised the Hollywood gender gap from the red carpet of the festival, where she was promoting her new documentary. This changes everything on gender inequality. “I think I heard today that in France it’s 24 per cent are female directors, and in the United States only four per cent. I mean, 24 is not good enough either, but four per cent is an embarrassment,” she told the reporters. The documentary, produced by Davis and directed by Tom Donahue, features interviews with Hollywood actors including Meryl Streep, Reese Witherspoon, Jessica Chastain and Tiffany Haddish, and examines gender discrimination in the media and entertainment industry. Read More…

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