Raising awareness about gender in media in Hollywood

Watch Geena Davis's video on Raising awareness about gender in media in Hollywood...
Raising awareness about gender in media in Hollywood | Kids in the House
KidsInTheHouse the Ultimate Parenting Resource
Kids in the House Tour

Raising awareness about gender in media in Hollywood

My institute has sponsored the largest amount of research ever done on gender depictions in media covering a 20-year span. And what we do with the research is, because I'm in the entertainment industry, I have direct access to the people who are making, who are creating the content. So we just go directly to them and present our research results. We visit every studio, every network, we go to all the guilds - Writer's Guild, Animator's Guild - and share our findings with them in a private and collegial way. And their response was at first surprising. It's very universal, the response, which is their jaws are on the ground. They had no idea they were leaving out that many female characters. If I went in and said, you're not making as many movies starring a female characters as males, they'd say, "we know that." But if I say, the movies you are making are bereft of female presence, that's something that they didn't realize. And very often right in the meeting, someone will say, well I have to go rewrite my project. And at one studio, they got out their book of upcoming projects to see how they were going to do, and they were like, "oh, we've got to work on that one. Well that one's going to be horrible." So we're getting a great, great response. In fact we did a little survey of people who have heard the presentation. And 68% of the respondents said what they learned had impacted 2 or more of their projects. So we feel like this is a great, great result. And every studio or network has said, please come back when you have more research. So I really feel when we update our research in 2015 that we're going to see the needle having moved. And this will be the first time in decades. The ratio of male to female characters in films has been exactly the same since 1946.

Watch Geena Davis's video on Raising awareness about gender in media in Hollywood...


Expert Bio

More from Expert

Geena Davis

Academy Award Winning Actor & Founder of Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media

Academy Award winner Geena Davis is one of Hollywood’s most respected actors, appearing in several roles that became cultural landmarks. Earning the 2006 Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama, Davis broke ground in her portrayal of the first female President of the United States in ABC’s hit show “Commander in Chief.”In 1989, Davis received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as the offbeat dog trainer Muriel Pritchett in Lawrence Kasdan’s “The Accidental Tourist.” She was again nominated for an Academy Award and Golden Globe for her performance in Ridley Scott’s “Thelma & Louise,” in which she co-starred with Susan Sarandon. Davis went on to receive a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress for her portrayal of baseball phenomenon Dottie Hinson in “A League of Their Own.” Davis made her feature film debut starring opposite Dustin Hoffman in “Tootsie.” She went on to star in such films as “The Fly,” “Beetlejuice,” “Angie,” “The Long Kiss Goodnight,” and “Stuart Little.”

Few have achieved such remarkable success in as many different fields as Davis has: she is not only an Oscar and Golden Globe winning actor, but a world-class athlete (at one time the nation’s 13th-ranked archer), a member of the genius society Mensa, and is becoming recognized for her tireless advocacy of women and girls nearly as much as for her acting accomplishments. She is the founder of the non-profit Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, which engages film and television creators to dramatically increase the percentages of female characters – and reduce gender stereotyping – in media made for children 11 and under.

Davis was appointed Special Envoy for Women and Girls in ICT for the UN's International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Davis is also an official partner of UN Women, working toward their goal of promoting gender equality and empowering women worldwide. Davis is the Chair of the California Commission on the Status of Women. Davis holds honorary degrees from Boston University, Bates College and New England College. 

More Parenting Videos from Geena Davis >
Enter your email to
download & subscribe
to our newsletter