What up, “G”?: The Snow White Effect is revealed

The AP is reporting that male characters outnumbered females 3:1, overall in top-grossing G-rated films from 1990 to 2004, according to a new study by See Jane.commander.in.chief.jpeg

“We’re showing kids a world that’s very scantly populated with women and female characters,” said actress Geena Davis, founder of See Jane, a program of the advocacy group Dads & Daughters that works for balanced sex representation in entertainment for children.

In the 101 animated and live-action films examined, 28 percent of speaking characters were female, and just 17 percent of people in crowd scenes were female, the study found.

“It’s important for what kids watch that as far as possible, they see the real world reflected, to see men and women, boys and girls, sharing the space,” said Davis, co-star of the female-empowerment film “Thelma & Louise” and star of TV’s “Commander in Chief” in which she plays the U.S. president. “They should see female characters taking up half the planet, which we do.”

And upon careful review, FishbowlLA can now report that in Disney’s “Snow White,” short, unmarried men outnumber tall princesses by an even more alarming 7:1 ratio.
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Not to disparage See Jane, but it sounds like the words “top grossing” films that give us pause. What they’ve done is examine not all animated films, but only the highest grossing animated films. Which begs the question: Are the ratios of these films what they are because that’s the bias kids (or their parents) have, or because the studios have an inherent bias?

We don’t know, but we think its a very good question to ask.

Clearly, there’ll be more reporting on this issue soon.

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