Disney Partners With Geena Davis For Tool Checking Scripts For Gender Bias

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By Tiny Diapana | More Articles
October 08, 2019  01:51 PM

 

 

It looks like Disney is taking more steps towards diversity, representation, and gender equality in all of its films.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Mickey Mouse House just recently announced its new partnership with Geena Davis and the Geena Davis Institute at the New Zealand Power of Inclusion Summit earlier this week. The partnership gives Disney access to a new tool that functions as a “spellcheck” for bias against gender in the studio’s scripts for film and television.

This new tool is called the “GD-IQ: Spellcheck for Bias.” It’s an AI technology-using digital tool that helps studios analyze a script’s text to check whether there is gender bias in the script’s content. It counts the number of male and female characters and then evaluates whether the breakdown is representative of the actual population.

Developed at the University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering, the “GD-IQ: Spellcheck for Bias” is also useful when it comes to evaluating how many characters are part of the LGBTQ+, how many characters are people of color, how many have disabilities, as well as characters that are part of other minority groups that aren’t frequently represented in film and television.

"I'm very proud to announce we have a brand new partnership with Walt Disney Studios using Spell Check for Bias," Davis said during the convention. "They are our pilot partners and we're going to collaborate with Disney over the next year using this tool to help their decision making, identify opportunities to increase diversity and inclusion in the manuscripts that they receive. We're very excited about the possibilities with this new technology and we encourage everybody to get in touch with us and give it a try."

According to Davis, the Spell Check Tool isn’t intended to “shame and blame” those who are writing and creating scripts. Instead, the tool is used to reveal unconscious bias that makes its way into creative work. Disney is currently the pilot partner of the tool.

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Tiny Diapana is a literary dilettante and warrior of the written word. She has a penchant for poetry, with some of her compositions seeing publication in anthologies. Tiny is drawn to magic realism (eg. Salman Rushdie, Etgar Kerret) and books that are stylistic and Kafkaesque. Her free time is often spent on boardgames, books, manga, comics, pop culture series, movies and practicing bass.
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