Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
Geena Davis’ Two Easy Steps to Make Hollywood Less Sexist “We are in effect enculturating kids from the very beginning to see women and girls as not taking up half of the space." Read Geena's guest column in
The Hollywood Reporter
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They have made great strides to change the landscape of media and programming to reflect a more accurate, gender balanced, diverse portrayal of society.
– Nina Tassler, Chairman, CBS Entertainment
Kids need to see entertainment where females are valued as much as males.
In family films, there’s only 1 female character for every 3 male characters. For a well-balanced adventure, just add girls.
As L.A.'s only women's university, we are thrilled to partner with Geena Davis to create research that influences opportunities for women in media.
– Ann McElaney-Johnson, president of Mount St. Mary's University
No one has done more to bring strong, complex and truly inspirational female characters to both large and small screens.
– Wallis Annenberg,
Chairman of the Board, President
and CEO of the Annenberg Foundation

Gender in Media News

Coming This Summer: June 8, 2015 Women of Action: Redefining the Super Hero

Women have become the new creative power force behind Hollywood’s latest wave of superhero films. In a field that until recently was heavily male dominated and even the names of its most popular characters usually ended in “man” – Superman, Spider-Man, Batman – now is creating more opportunities for women. While significant work still needs to be done, the recent hiring of Patty Jenkins to direct Wonder Woman and Nicole Perlman and Meg LeFauve to write the Captain Marvel screenplay is proof there is enormous pool of talent that the industry is now finally beginning to utilize. The next See Jane salon will feature a panel of Hollywood’s new generation of super women who will share their stories and insights about their experiences in the genre. Read More...

May 26, 2015 A Video Game Paves the Way for Female Drivers in Saudi Arabia

It’s 2015, and Saudi Arabian women still aren’t allowed to drive. In the world of Saudi Arabian video games, however, things feel a little bit different. Saudi Girls Revolution, a recent game released by a Saudi Arabian prince, features eight Saudi women dressed in abayas, blasting villains, destroying cyborgs, and yes—driving cars. The game was designed by NA3M, a company headed by Prince Fahad bin Faisal Al Saud, grandson of the brother of the king. There’s more than girl warriors in this revolution, though. Asma and Allanoud are siblings who both fight against religious sectarianism. Read More…

May 24, 2015 These Are the Best Unproduced Screenplays with Female Protagonists

The Black List— a yearly list of great scripts that are circulating in Hollywood but have not yet become movies — has a new gender-conscious cousin. After a 2011 study found that only about one-third of all characters in the top 100 films were women, the organizers of Athena Film Festival were motivated to create a parallel list, the Athena List, to highlight unproduced 3–5 screenplays featuring strong female protagonists. The first-ever batch of honorees will be fêted at the festival, Feb. 6–9, in New York City. Read More…

May 23, 2015 ‘The Next MacGyver’ competition aims to encourage more women to pursue STEM

Back when she was growing up, Veronica Eliasson used to be rooted in front of her family’s television watching “MacGyver” with her younger brother. The long-running action-adventure series followed the exploits of an American secret agent who came up with inventive solutions to difficult problems by engineering tools out of everyday things. Think objects like duct tape, for instance. The show had worldwide appeal, and for the young Eliasson, whose father always told her she should become an engineer, it opened her eyes to the fact that science could be fun — and exciting. Read More…

May 19, 2015 The Film by Two Women That Has Wall Street Talking

Hollywood hasn’t released a notable female-led film set on Wall Street for 27 years. Not since Mike Nichols’s 1988 comedy Working Girl—starring Melanie Griffith as a plucky wannabe banker with “a mind for business and a bod for sin”—has a major film focused on a woman navigating the combative, competitive, and outright cutthroat offices at the center of the business world. Read More…

May 18, 2015 ‘Pitch Perfect 2′ box office: Movies by women for women work

Hollywood got the memo. Women like movies too. It’s a “duh” moment, but one that took a shockingly long time to arrive. The opening weekend numbers for”Pitch Perfect 2,” which annihilated the competition with a staggering $70 million bow, illustrate the financial power of this frequently ignored consumer group. Read more…

May 18, 2015 Lasseter Promises More Disney/Pixar Diversity After ‘Inside Out’ Raves At Cannes

Pixar and Disney animation mastermind John Lasseter was the toast of Cannes on May 18, with rave reviews for the premiere of Inside Out. It is technically one of Pixar’s more diverse films, since its main human is a little girl and the main characters who go on a journey through her mind are two females as well. Yet Lasseter promised in a post-screening press conference that Disney and Pixar are committed to much more diversity in future films. Read More…

May 18, 2015 ‘Pitch Perfect 2′ Makes 2015 a Historic Year for Women in Hollywood

The success of Pitch Perfect 2 isn’t just good news for musical comedy fans; it’s also a historic win for women behind the camera. The Elizabeth Banks-directed sequel debuted at over $70 million this weekend, making it the second highest opening ever for a female film director. The top of that list is occupied by director Sam Taylor-Johnson, whose Fifty Shades of Grey opened at $85.2 million this February. Both of these record-breaking movies also have female screenwriters. Read More…

May 18, 2015 Salma Hayek, Aishwarya Rai and Parker Posey hit back at gender inequality

Salma Hayek, Parker Posey and Aishwarya Rai were among those leading a call for greater gender equality in film at Cannes on Saturday. Speaking at the forum organised by trade magazine Variety and UN Women’s HeForShe campaign, the actors spoke of their own experiences of institutional sexism and called on studios, audiences and journalists to alter the discourse. “Cinema undermines women’s intelligence,” said Hayek. Read More…

May 17, 2015 Google, NASA work together on Disney show to inspire girls into sciences

There are certain television tropes about computer scientists that just drive programmers nuts. They include the portrayal of coders as sun-starved and soft-bellied nerds who spend long hours alone in front of their computers. And almost always, those TV characters are male. So when Disney Junior approached Google and NASA last year for a new series about a space adventure-seeking boy, his smart sister who codes and mother who drives the family spaceship, everyone involved in the project was determined to bury those stereotypes. Read More…

May 14, 2015 Bentonville Film Festival pushes diversity message from year one

The first Bentonville Film Festival is a little festival with big aspirations and deep pockets. The aspirations come from Geena Davis — or, more precisely, the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, a research-based advocacy group that tackles issues of gender inequality and stereotyping, particularly in family-oriented movies and TV. Read More…

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