Wareham native Geena Davis accepted a special award at Monday night’s 74th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards.

The Governors Award was presented to the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media “in recognition of their efforts to promote gender balance and foster inclusion throughout the entertainment industry,” according to an Emmys release.

In her acceptance speech, the Academy Award-winner and Wareham High graduate praised the Television Academy and its Board of Governors and gave a shout-out to Lizzo, who just moments earlier won Outstanding Competition Program for her Amazon Prime series Watch Out for the Big Grrrls.

“Tonight is about honoring the best of television, and as you know, as Lizzo knows, television can often directly impact how people see themselves and judge their value in the world,” Davis said. “And in the time since I launched the institute, we’ve made a great deal of progress but still there’s more work to do, of course.”

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Davis founded the institute in 2004 and it is the “only research-based organization working collaboratively within the entertainment industry to create gender balance, advocate for inclusion and reduce negative stereotyping in family entertainment media.”

“Their data-driven research, education and advocacy has successfully influenced content creators to reimagine the media landscape to reflect the world we live in,” the Emmy release stated. “They are the only public data institute to consistently analyze representations of the six major marginalized identities on screen: women; people of color; LGBTQIA+ individuals; people with disabilities; older persons (50+); and large-bodied individuals in global Film, Television, Advertising and Gaming.”

The Geena Davis Institute shared its data with its content partners, helping to foster an increase in female and diverse characters in television and films, as well as ensuring that female characters have dialogue, story development, and that the characters have goals and aspirations that better reflect women in society today.

“I think (this award) is very, very significant because what we do is usually behind the scenes,” Davis said backstage at the event. “We’re really grateful for that.”

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