News Archive

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

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.

May 23, 2018

Why we need to keep putting women presidents in TV shows and movies

Hollywood has little problem putting women in the White House. Jennifer Aniston will swear in as POTUS for the forthcoming Netflix political comedy “First Ladies,” the streaming giant announced recently, with comedian Tig Notaro playing her wife. The film, co-written and produced by Notaro and her real-life wife, Stephanie Allynne, also has Aniston, Will Ferrell and his frequent collaborator Adam McKay attached as producers. “When Beverly and Kasey Nicholson move into the White House, they’ll prove that behind every great woman … is another great woman,” reads the movie’s logline. Read More…

May 11, 2018

Is Your Script Gender-Balanced? Try This Test

The stats are familiar to anyone who cares about the place of women on screen: year after year, they appear less often, say fewer words and generally don’t do as much in front of the camera. Numerous studies have corroborated the disparity between male and female characters in films, TV shows and ads. But what if there was a way to analyze the gap before a movie hits the multiplex, when there is still time to address that persistent imbalance? Read More…

May 11, 2018

Geena Davis: ‘Shame On Us’ If Hollywood Doesn’t Make More Diverse Films After ‘Wonder Woman’ and ‘Black Panther’

Geena Davis is ready for some changes. Admittedly, she’s been ready for some changes for awhile, but it finally seems as if Hollywood is catching up with the actress and activist’s biggest ideas, especially when it comes to crafting entertainment that’s as diverse as the world itself, a world that’s hungry to see more of that up on the big screen. “When you have movies like ‘Wonder Woman’ and ‘Black Panther,’ which are insane blockbusters internationally, if we don’t create momentum out of that, shame on us,” Davis said in a recent interview with IndieWire. “There have been so many successful movies starring women or people of color that unfortunately didn’t result in momentum being created.” Read More…

May 09, 2018

Otter Pops Mascots Are Now Gender Balanced Thanks to the Geena Davis Institute

Tony the Tiger, the Pilsbury Doughboy and Mr. Clean all have something in common: they’re all men. A recent study, the first of its kind, delved into gender and race representation in U.S. brand mascots, finding that for every two male mascots, there’s only one female mascot. Additionally, while people of color make up 38 percent of the U.S. population, only 15.2 percent of mascots show any hint of diversity. In a move to balance out those numbers, the Geena Davis Institute of Gender in Media partnered with The Jel Sert Company to commission the study. Read More…

May 09, 2018

At Long Last, Women’s Empowerment Comes to Otter Pops

For decades, Otter Pops popsicles have served as adorable plastic sheathes for freezable sugar water with no particular discernible political bent. As the saying goes: “Keep your politics out of my freezer.” Well, times they are a-changin’, and the great Otter Pop Awokening of 2018 is upon is. Today, I received an emailed press release announcing that, “The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and The Jel Sert Company gender balanced Otter Pops, creating new empowered female mascots to inspire both girls and boys.” Could it be that the calls for diversity in popsicles were finally being heard? Indeed: Otter Pops has unveiled “three new diverse and empowered female otters and one male otter” to its slate for the sake of “promoting gender equality.” Whoa. Read More…

May 09, 2018

Yep, Even Brand Mascots Are Guilty Of Gender And Racial Bias

Quick: name the first five brand mascots that come to your head. Odds are that most of them were male. Mr. Clean, Kool-Aid Man, Tony the Tiger, Mr. Peanut, Michelin Man, Jolly Green Giant, Ronald McDonald, Toucan Sam, Pillsbury Doughboy, Snap, Crackle, and Pop–all dudes. A new study by The Geena Davis Institute On Gender In Media and The Jel Sert Company called”Mascots Matter” examines how women and people of color are represented in the marketing mascots of top selling products, and the results are about what you might expect. The study surveyed the 500 best-selling consumer product categories, identifying 1,096 products with mascot character representations. Read More…