USC Annenberg News Roundup: December 16, 2013

The Hollywood Reporter: Geena Davis' Two Easy Steps to Make Hollywood Less Sexist

The Hollywood Reporter published a story by actress Geena Davis about gender inequality in film and television. The story featured research done by USC Annenberg Professor Stacy L. Smith through a partnership of USC Annenberg and the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media.

Smith’s research found that only one in every three speaking characters in family-rated films (G, PG and PG-13) are female. Additionally, females make up only 17 percent of crowds of people in live-action and animated films. This ratio has remained constant since the 1940s.

“Throw in the hypersexualization of many of the female characters that are there, even in G-rated movies, and their lack of occupations and aspirations and you get the picture,” said Davis.

According to Davis, female representation in film and television could increase significantly without altering content in current projects. She suggested changing characters such as police officers from male to female and specifying that crowds of extras be half female in order to boost the presence of women.

The Washington Post: ‘The Leonard Bernstein Letters,’ edited by Nigel Simeone

USC Annenberg and Thornton School of Music Professor Tim Page wrote a review for the Washington Post of “The Leonard Bernstein Letters,” the newest biography about musician Leonard Bernstein, edited by English scholar Nigel Simeone.

“There have been several Bernstein biographies, some admirable, but no book has so forcefully and delightfully captured the man’s energy, intellect and genius for friendship as ‘The Leonard Bernstein Letters,’ scrupulously and authoritatively edited by the English scholar Nigel Simeone,” wrote Page.

Truthdig: The Drone Next Door

Truthdig ran an article by USC Annenberg Professor Richard Reeves about the increased use of drones by the United States, following drone attacks in Yemen last week.

According to Reeves, Americans are more comfortable with drone usage because it is saving the lives of other Americans who can control the missiles from a safer location.

“Welcome to pixel war. Soon coming to a town near you,” wrote Reeves. “The technology is improving, and Jeff Bezos of is planning to use drones to deliver books to your house.”