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.
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– Nina Tassler, Chairman, CBS Entertainment
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Kids need to see entertainment where females are valued as much as males.
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– GEENA DAVIS
In family films, there’s only 1 female character for every 3 male characters. For a well-balanced adventure, just add girls.
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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.
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– Ann McElaney-Johnson, president of Mount St. Mary's University
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No one has done more to bring strong, complex and truly inspirational female characters to both large and small screens.
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– Wallis Annenberg,
Chairman of the Board, President
and CEO of the Annenberg Foundation

Gender in Media News

Coming This Spring: May 5-9, 2015 Academy Award® Winning Actor Geena Davis and Arc Entertainment Launch Bentonville Film Festival with Founding Sponsor Walmart and Presenting Sponsor Coca-Cola

Academy Award® winning actor Geena Davis and ARC Entertainment announced the launch of the Bentonville Film Festival (BFF), a one-of-a-kind inaugural event designed to champion women and diversity in film. The Festival, which will take place from May 5 – 9 in Bentonville, Arkansas, will be the first and only film competition in the world to offer guaranteed theatrical, television, digital and retail home entertainment distribution for its winners. Geena Davis, Chair of the Bentonville Film Festival, along with the BFF Board, Julianne Moore, Angela Bassett, Samuel L. Jackson, Natalie Portman, Bruce Dern, Eva Longoria, Viola Davis, Nina Tassler, Paula Patton, Randy Jackson, Gil Robertson and Nisha Ganatra, hope you will join them this May in Arkansas to champion women and diversity in media. Watch Video... or Read More...

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March 25, 2015 Happy Birthday Gloria Steinem! In Her Own Words – Notes from a Young Feminist

Our twenty-something commentator appreciates the HBO documentary, but also wishes for a deeper treatment of WMC Cofounder Gloria Steinem’s philosophy and activism. Near the end of Gloria: In Her Own Words, which premieres tonight on HBO, the title feminist quotes Susan B. Anthony when she says “Our job is not to make young women grateful, but to make them ungrateful.” Steinem insists onscreen, as she does personally and patiently to women who approach her on the street worried their daughters don’t know who she is, that this doesn’t matter “as long as they know who they are.” Read More…

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March 25, 2015 For BoJack Horseman, It Matters If A Cartoon Dog Is A Man Or A Woman

“The thinking comes from a place that the cleanest version of a joke has as few pieces as possible,” Bob-Waksberg writes in his Tumblr post. “For the dog joke, you have the thing where the tongue slobbers all over the businessperson, but if you also have a thing where both of them ladies, then that’s an additional thing and it muddies up the joke. The audience will think, ‘Why are those characters female? Is that part of the joke?’ The underlying assumption there is that the default mode for any character is male, so to make the characters female is an additional detail on top of that. Read More & Listen to the Story…

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March 25, 2015 CBS Cares: Megan Smith, First Woman Chief Technology Officer of United States

To celebrate Women’s History Month, CBS Cares with Kirsten Vangsness of Criminal Minds features Megan Smith’s achievement as the United States’ first Chief Technology Officer. Watch video…

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March 25, 2015 Geena Davis: I just assumed sexism wasn’t present in what we show kids

or me, and possibly the majority of my generation, Geena Davis will always be Thelma Dickinson, one half of the duo that many believed would kick the female Hollywood stereotype for good. I have no idea how many times my teenage self watched Thelma and Louise (we’re certainly into double figures) but I’m pretty sure I would never have guessed I would one day be sitting in a hotel in New York talking to Davis about gender inequality in film and TV. Read More…

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March 24, 2015 She enters, stage right

Geena Davis once played a meek Arkansas housewife named Thelma who, buffeted by fate and bucked up by her fiesty friend Louise (Susan Sarandon), became a neo-feminist icon. Never mind that at the end of the movie the gals took a Butch and Sundance leap into oblivion; they weren’t about to take any more guff from the bullying male authority figures that had them cornered on the rim of the Grand Canyon. Read More…

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March 24, 2015 Robert De Niro, Rosie O’Donnell, Soledad O’Brien Join Geena Davis’s Female Film Fest

The first Bentonville Film Festival, scheduled for May 5-9, hasn’t yet announced its slate of films, which will highlight female and minority filmmakers. But the happily acronymed BFF has just signed up talents including Robert De Niro, Rosie O’Donnell, Nick Cannon, Bruce Dern, Joey Lauren Adams, and newswoman Soledad O’Brien to participate in its panels and film screenings. Actress Geena Davis is behind the new film fest. Working behind the scenes, the Oscar-winning actress has been pushing for decades to get women more credit and more work in Hollywood. Read More…

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March 23, 2015 Bentonville Film Festival announces several star guests

Robert De Niro and Rosie O’Donnell are among several of the stars that officials say will appear at the Bentonville Film Festival. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports organizers say the event, which runs from May 5 to May 9, could attract as many as 25,000 visitors to the northwest Arkansas city of Bentonville. De Niro is expected to attend a screening of a documentary about his father. O’Donnell will participate in a panel discussion about women who manage their own film production companies. Read More…

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March 21, 2015 Geena Davis’ Bentonville Film Festival Draws Robert De Niro, Rosie O’Donnell

Robert De Niro, Nick Cannon, Bruce Dern, Soledad O’Brien, Rosie O’Donnell and Joey Lauren Adams will appear at the inaugural edition of the Bentonville Film Festival. Geena Davis and ARC Entertainment are organizing the event, taking place May 5-9 in the Arkansas city. The actress announced the event in January with the aim of highlighting diversity. Cannon and producer O’Brien will co-host the festival’s closing-night awards show. O’Brien will also present her new documentary “The War Comes Home.” Read More…

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March 20, 2015 Sheryl WuDunn, Geena Davis talk gender equality at Mount Saint Mary’s release of new research on the status of women

Mount Saint Mary’s University, an L.A-based women’s university, released new gender research yesterday at a public event that drew more than 1,000 people to hear speakers such as Pulitzer Prize-winner Sheryl WuDunn and Academy Award-winner Geena Davis. The 2015 Report on the Status of Women and Girls in California is released annually to shed light on conditions that affect the more than 19 million women and girls who live within the nation’s largest state. For the first time, this year’s report also included global comparisons to assess resources and opportunities for women around the world. Read More…

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March 20, 2015 Actress and Advocate Geena Davis to Speak on Gender Equality in Media at Ithaca College

Oscar-winning actress and advocate Geena Davis will discuss “Gender Equality in the Modern Media” at Ithaca College on Tuesday, March 31. Free and open to the public, her talk will be held at 8 p.m. in Ford Hall, Whalen Center for Music. Davis is known for her portrayals of strong female characters in such films as “Thelma and Louise” and “A League of Their Own,” and as the first woman president in the ABC series “Commander in Chief.” She has guest-starred this season on “Grey’s Anatomy” as a surgeon diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. Read More…

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