With over four decades of credits under her belt and an Oscar for her role in “The Accidental Tourist,” Geena Davis’ acting career has made a major mark on the biz. But it’s her work behind the scenes that’s getting recognized. The Television Academy has announced that the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media will be honored with this year’s Governors Award at the Emmys, per Variety. It is being celebrated for “its work in promoting gender balance and fostering inclusion in the entertainment industry.”
Davis, who received the 2020 Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, founded the institute in 2004. The TV Academy applauded the org for advocating that the “representation of characters in media should, in aggregate, reflect the population of the world, which is half female and very diverse. They advise the industry that global culture change is especially important for children who need diverse, intersectional representation in the programming they watch so they are not unwittingly taught to absorb unconscious bias.”
The Governors Award “honors an individual, company, or organization that has made a profound, transformational, and long-lasting contribution to the arts and/or science of television.” Debbie Allen received the honor last year.
“Since 2004, the institute has been fighting for equality and representation, long before it was comfortable to take that stand. The Television Academy is honored to add the organization to the prestigious list of recipients,” said Governors Award selection committee co-chair Kim Taylor-Coleman.
Committee co-chair Michael Spiller added, “The institute’s work continues to result in real-world changes that have an impact far beyond the soundstages and locations we show up at every day.”
Davis, the founder and chair of the institute, stated, “We are incredibly honored to receive this award from the Board of Governors in recognition of our work. We know that in many sectors of our society true gender equality may take many years to achieve, but there’s one space where parity can be reached virtually overnight: on screen,” founder and chair Davis, whose recent credits include “Ava” and “GLOW,” said in a statement.
The Emmys will take place September 12. This year’s nominees include “Abbott Elementary” breakout Quinta Brunson and “Yellowjackets” helmer Karyn Kusama.