What you may not realize is going on in family films

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What you may not realize is going on in family films

I think we really need to change how female characters are depicted and left out in family-rated films. It has a very negative impact on the impression of boys and girls about girls' value. Also 80% of the media consumed worldwide is made in the United States. So we're actually exporting a very negative image of women around the world. So I think we have a responsibility to change that. It's the 21st century. Surely kids should be seen, boys and girls, sharing the sandbox equally. Looking at the 20 years of research we studied, I figured out if we add female characters at the rate we have been, we will achieve parity in 700 years. So there is progress being made; however, my institute is dedicated to cutting that in half, and we won't rest until it's only 350 years. Actually, we really need to get there. Clearly, things are not changing gradually on their own that we'll get there any time soon. So there has to be a very conscious effort to add more female characters. Our kids need to see it. They need to see girls taking up half the space in these entertainments. Whether the target audience is male or female, there should be women in there doing interesting things, having leadership positions and being a part of the world that's created.

Watch Geena Davis's video on What you may not realize is going on in family films...


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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. 

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