Academy Award winning actor and activist Geena Davis spoke to CalArts students and faculty at the Bijou Theater on February 19 about gender inequality in the arts and what artists can do to make a change.
In 2004, Davis created the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media to change “female portrayals of gender stereotypes in children’s media and entertainment.”
After watching television with her young daughter at the time, Davis noticed how few female lead characters there were in films and television shows for children 11 years and younger.
Davis and her institute’s mission is “to work within the entertainment industry to dramatically alter how girls and women are reflected in the media.”
Davis emphasized to CalArts students that women are underrepresented in nearly every sector of American society.
“Only 19 percent of all law partners are women; in Congress women make up 17 percent of the members; and behind the scenes in film and television, women account for only 16 percent of directors, producers and writers,” the actress said.
With Davis’ institute and its programming arm, See Jane, Davis hopes that, “in heightening awareness, the industry will be able to create rich, interesting female characters.”