Geena Davis: the actress who put more women on screen in the first place

Geena Davis had it all between the 80s and 90s. Iconic movies, roles that elevated her to the top of Hollywood, and awards that gave her a status that many long for in the industry.

Davis after the millennium left the big roles and took on lesser challenges, although not in lesser quality, considering that he also won awards that season.

However, Geena did take on a personal challenge, one deeply important to her, but also to the world’s communications industry, by creating an institute that measures female participation in an area where, sometimes in stark silence, women They didn’t have that much land.

The numbers are her obsession and it is that same obsession that she contributed, so much so that academies such as those that award the Oscar or Emmy awards have recognized her work as an activist, a work that helps many women.

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The highs and lows of Geena Davis’s career

It was in the 80s when Virginia Elizabeth Davis, or simply Geena Davis, a girl originally from the state of Massachusetts, began to fulfill her childhood dream: to be an actress.

The young woman, who during high school felt complex for being the tallest girl in her school, specialized in theater in Boston and went to New York to start a career, highlights her biography in IMDB.

That career began as a model, she even signed for Victoria’s Secret’s and that catalog came into the hands of Sydney Pollack, a director who was looking for new talent and discovered her by choosing her for Tootsie in 1982.

The good reviews supported the rise of Gina Davis’s career and she moved to Los Angeles, where her career would take a direct course to success. In 1988 she won her first Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in “The Accidental Tourist.”

Just a couple of years later, she shot one of the most iconic films of her career, “Thelma & Louis”, one of the first films with female leads and where they do not have a passive role.

It is about two young people who go on a road trip and find themselves involved in a series of situations where they make the decisions. Making the project took years, but it made Davis the feminist she is today.

The film received critics like that it incited to the violence, the suicide, et cetera; however, with each criticism its popularity increased and it fought for the box office with Terminator 2 and Robin Hood by Kevin Costner, slogan 20 minutes.

Geena Davis as Thelma
Thelma & Louise

This film, in which an unknown Brad Pitt participated, gave Geena Davis world fame and, according to her, changed her life.

The creation of the Institute

Geena was characterized by having interesting roles, she played a baseball star in A League Of Their Own, where she shared a cast with Madonna. However, by the time she turned 40 she stopped being in big projects.

We could only see her in some productions such as Stuart Little or Commander in Chief, where she played Mackenzie Allen, the first female president of the United States. She won a Golden Globe, but the series was canceled with the first season.

By the time Davis was 50 years old, Gina Davis is experiencing what she knew would happen, she would be abandoned by TV and movies. It was there that she decided to found the “Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media”.

“I am completely obsessed with numbers and data. I have become a scientist in old age” she told The Guardian when she explained the work of the institution that bears her name.

The objective is to carry out research that aims to establish gender representation in family entertainment, accounting for the harsh reality that women live in the industry, he stated. TheGuardian.

By 2017, when he had already been working for 10 years, he delivered figures such as the fact that male characters outnumber women in family films. From 2007 to 2014, women spoke a third less than men in productions.

Although without a doubt one of the hardest figures is that of the 100 highest-grossing films distributed in the United States, less than 7% were directed by women; and of the female characters, less than 1 in 5 were between 40 and 60 years old. Hence Davis’s career waned the older she got.

Numbers rule in Hollywood

While the #MeToo movement was beginning to take shape, Geena was already one step ahead with her investigations and the figures were alarming. Between 2006 and 2009 there were no family films with women working in science or being leaders in politics, business or law.

In partnership with Google they launched the Geena Davis Inclusion Quotient (the GD-IQ), a software program that measures the amount of screen time and talk time given to male and female characters.

A study using this software showed that in 200 movies, between 2014 and 2015, men had twice as much screen time, but they also talked twice as much.

“This gender bias is very ingrained in us and it is embedded in our DNA since we are little, from our first exposure to popular culture. If kids’ movies and TV shows have far fewer female characters than male ones, and nobody’s like, ‘By the way, honey, this isn’t real. This is not the real world,’” declared the actress.

The Institute’s figures show that children continued to see this gender bias that indicates that girls and women are less valuable, for the simple reason that they are not in the productions they consume.

What to do with this? Geena shares it with the biggest people in Hollywood, whom she reaches out not only as a feminist woman, but with numbers that prove reality in an industry that, like many others, is tough on women.

Recognition of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in the Media

But how is it possible to raise awareness in a world as difficult as the entertainment industry? Geena Davis, in addition to going with her study on gender, also went with findings on the payoff of putting women on screen.

Movies with female leads capture 15% more profits and when they have 2 co-stars, one female and one male, they earn almost 24% than if they had only one man.

His organization marked an important point in the industry and that was recognized. In 2019, her work promoting women on screen earned her an Honorary Oscar.

“As abysmal as the figures are in real life, it is much worse in fiction, where one invents them,” he declared upon receiving the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, he stated. Reuters.

Adding that gender inequality is something that can be fixed in the industry overnight, just by taking a script and turning male characters into female ones.

To this is added that last Monday, September 12, he received at the Emmys, on behalf of his organization, the Governors Award in recognition of his efforts to promote gender balance and foster inclusion throughout the entertainment industry.

The actress noted that “in the time since I launched the institute, we have made great progress, but there is still more work to be done, of course.”

He added that “a lot of the content creators we’ve partnered with are a lot of you. So thank you all for your support. And if there’s anyone else who thinks we might be able to help, just give us a call.”

In this way they recognize Geena Davis, an actress that we see less and less acting, but thanks to her we do see more women on screen.

We want to give thanks to the author of this write-up for this outstanding material

Geena Davis: the actress who put more women on screen in the first place