The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media will receive the 2022 Governors Award at the 74th Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony on Sept. 12 “in recognition of their efforts to promote gender balance and foster inclusion throughout the entertainment industry,” the TV Academy announced on Monday.
Founded in 2004 by the Oscar-winning actress, the Institute is a research-based organization that works within the entertainment industry to create gender balance, advocate for inclusion and reduce negative stereotyping in family entertainment media.
The Governors Award honors an individual or organization in the television arts and sciences whose achievement is so exceptional and universal in nature that it goes beyond the scope of annual Emmy Awards recognition. Previous recipients of the honor, which was introduced in 1978, include Debbie Allen, Tyler Perry, Star Trek, American Idol, William S. Paley; Hallmark Cards Inc., Masterpiece Theater, Comic Relief and ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and A+E networks.
“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. “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,” added committee co-chair Michael Spiller.
Davis said, “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.
The Institute’s president and CEO Madeline Di Nonno added, “Seeing oneself reflected in popular culture is enormously powerful. As we say, ‘If they can see it, they can be it.’”
In addition to her 1989 Oscar for her supporting role in The Accidental Tourist, Davis was nominated for best actress in 1992 for Thelma & Louise and in 1992 and received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in 2020. She also received an Emmy nomination in 2006 for her lead role in the ABC drama Commander in Chief.