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See Jane 2023: How Has On-Screen Representation in Children’s Television Changed from 2018 to 2022

Since 2004, the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media has advocated for greater on screen inclusion and better representation in global entertainment media through research and advocacy. To continue this effort, we analyzed two different types of children’s media content for the inclusion and representation of six categories—gender, race, LGBTQIA+ identity, disability, age, and body size—and characters’ intersections therein. First, we looked at inclusion and representation of these identities in programming popular with children ages two to 11 in the U.S. according to Nielsen metrics, which includes the 10 most popular broadcast, cable, and streaming shows, inclusive of all languages, to give us a sense of what children are watching. Second, we analyzed inclusion and representation in new children’s programming, which is TV that is currently being made for children, to give us a sense of what is being made for children. These were a summary of the main findings:

Based on these findings about representation and portrayals in children’s programming, we make the following recommendations:

  1. Hire more girls, women and nonbinary people to voice nonhuman characters, like ghosts, aliens, monsters, and talking objects.
  2. Cast girls and women in minor roles, too.
  3. Increase the visibility of diverse queer characters.
  4. Increase the representation of disabled young people on-screen.
  5. Diversify live-action characters.
  6. Allow characters of different backgrounds to express themselves and talk about their feelings.

For a full list of findings and recommendations, please see the full report. GDI members can join us in Los Angeles on December 6, 2023 for an in-person release of the report followed by a panel discussion.

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