Saturday, July 31, 2021

AAFCA Podcast – Madeline Di Nonno, CEO of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media

*Imagine if you will, you are watching kids shows on television with your children and after a while you notice something is missing. You don’t see a lot of girls in kids programming. So, you start counting, and quickly realize kids programming lacks representation.

You continue your research only to discover this omission of inclusion is consistent across the spectrum in both television and film.

Well that’s exactly what Academy Award-winning actress Geena Davis did. After discovering this lack of representation in kids programming, she decided to do something about it and launched the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media in 2004.

The campaign, “See Jane,” emphasizes a principle tenant – “If She can see it, she can be it.”  Representation matters and the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media has been championing this cause for fifteen years. The institute provides invaluable research to leaders in the entertainment industry and beyond with data on representation based on gender, race, and other diversity tracks. Recently the Institute partnered with USC Viterbi and Google and developed the GD-IQ or Geena Davis Inclusion Quotient. The number is derived using new technologies to measure audio and visual in media content and provides data in real time on representation, or the lack thereof.

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Madeline Di Nonno & Rhonda Penrice
Madeline Di Nonno (left) discusses the importance of inclusion with Rhonda Rashay Penrice at AAFCA Celebrates Women in Media event in Atlanta, Georgia.

Recently the Institute released their benchmark report, a decade-long analysis where they analyzed the top 100 grossing animated and non-animated family films from 2007-2017. The report provides a state of the industry snapshot of sorts. The data presented is a stark reminder of the entertainment industry progress towards inclusion. According to the report, Male leads outnumber female leads 2 to 1 but there has been some progress over time. Regarding race, white leads outnumber leads of color 4 to 1 but box office revenue for family films with leads of color and racially diverse co-leading casts have caught up with and surpassed family films with white leads.

In this episode of the AAFCA podcast we speak with Madeline Di Nonno, CEO of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media And leads the Institute’s strategic direction. Madeline has over 30 years of experience in media marketing and business development in non-profit, entertainment, digital media, and consumer goods. She has worked for media companies including, Anchor Bay Entertainment, Starz Media, Nielson EDI, the Hallmark Channel, Universal Studios Home Video, and ABC Television to name a few.

Madeline was the keynote speaker at AAFCA’s Celebrate Women in Media event at the Auburn Avenue Research Library in Atlanta, Georgia. The Geena Benchmark Report is available to download on the institute’s website (http://seejane.org).

 

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