Disney’s New Tool Will Check Its Movie Scripts for Gender Bias

in Disney, Entertainment, Movies & TV

Disney at CinemaCon

Credit: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

As The Walt Disney Company continues to enhance its abilities to maintain gender equality in its own film and television shows on screen, the conglomerate has decided to take another step forward by utilizing actress and activist Geena Davis’ new tool, which operates as a “spellcheck” for gender bias in movie and TV scripts.

Announced earlier this week at the New Zealand Power of Inclusion Summit, Disney will officially begin using the new “GD-IQ: Spellcheck for Bias” tool on all their film and TV scripts. The new tool is an artificial intelligence-based tool capable of analyzing any script’s text to evaluate the number of male and female characters and whether the breakdown represents the actual population.

Walt Disney Studios logo
Credit: The Walt Disney Company

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The tool, developed by researchers at the University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering, is also said to be capable of evaluating how many characters are LGBTQ+, are people of color, have disabilities, and are people of other diverse groups that are underrepresented in media.

Davis said about the new partnership with Disney, “I’m very proud to announce we have a brand new partnership with Walt Disney Studios using Spell Check for Bias.” “They are our pilot partners. We will 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 they receive. We’re very excited about the possibilities with this new technology and encourage everybody to get in touch with us and try it.”

Geena Davis at New Zealand's Power of Inclusion Summit
Credit: New Zealand Film Commission

Davis explains that this innovation is not focused on “shaming and blaming” those writing and creating. Instead, it reveals the unconscious bias and inequality that can sometimes make its way into stories–especially as it relates to specific roles in films. With this new tool’s analysis, the hope is that data from the spell check will help creators refine scripts and projects in a way that no longer perpetuates various stereotypes and enhances representation overall.

“Nearly every sector of our society has a huge gender disparity, particularly in leadership positions,” Davis said. “So how long will it take to correct that, to reach parity? No matter how hard we work, we can’t snap our fingers; suddenly, half the corporate boards are women. It will take a long time to make some of these changes.”

What are your thoughts on Disney utilizing this new tool to battle and change gender bias in their TV series and films going forward? Let us know in the comments!

Source: The Hollywood Reporter 

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