Project Title

Women Writers of Film & Television Project: Chris Nee

Academic department under which the project should be listed

RCHSS - English

Faculty Sponsor Name

Anna Weinstein

Abstract (300 words maximum)

A 2008 study published in the Future of Children journal (Princeton University) found that the type of media content children watch affects their well-being and social-emotional development. In 2019, the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media announced the historic achievement that female leads and co-leads had “reached gender parity in top children’s television programming,” including the “25 top Nielsen-rated children’s television programs watched by kids ages 2-13" and the “100 most popular children’s films rated G, PG, and PG-13." Through my work on Professor Anna Weinstein’s Women Writers of Film & Television research project in the English Department at Kennesaw State University, I have identified a female children’s television creator who is leading the charge to create programming that intentionally integrates diversity and more accurately represents a cross-selection of children and their experiences. In this presentation, I examine the work of female LGBTQ television writer and showrunner, Chris Nee, who created series such as Doc McStuffins 2012-2020) and Ridley Jones (2021--). Doc McStuffins was the first children’s program to feature an African American female lead with LGBTQ parents, and Nee’s collaboration with Barack and Michelle Obama led to her animated short, We the People (2021). Her most recent efforts to bring diverse voices to the small screen is a new, yet-to-be-released series, Spirit Rangers, created by Karissa Valencia, which Nee is producing through her company Laughing Wild. Nee and Valencia have committed to staffing the show with an entirely Native American writers room. This presentation will explore Nee’s work to create new voices for children’s television programming, diversifying the characters onscreen as well as the writers developing these characters behind the scenes.

Disciplines

Arts and Humanities | Film and Media Studies | Screenwriting

Project Type

Oral Presentation (15-min time slots)

How will this be presented?

Yes, in person

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Women Writers of Film & Television Project: Chris Nee

A 2008 study published in the Future of Children journal (Princeton University) found that the type of media content children watch affects their well-being and social-emotional development. In 2019, the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media announced the historic achievement that female leads and co-leads had “reached gender parity in top children’s television programming,” including the “25 top Nielsen-rated children’s television programs watched by kids ages 2-13" and the “100 most popular children’s films rated G, PG, and PG-13." Through my work on Professor Anna Weinstein’s Women Writers of Film & Television research project in the English Department at Kennesaw State University, I have identified a female children’s television creator who is leading the charge to create programming that intentionally integrates diversity and more accurately represents a cross-selection of children and their experiences. In this presentation, I examine the work of female LGBTQ television writer and showrunner, Chris Nee, who created series such as Doc McStuffins 2012-2020) and Ridley Jones (2021--). Doc McStuffins was the first children’s program to feature an African American female lead with LGBTQ parents, and Nee’s collaboration with Barack and Michelle Obama led to her animated short, We the People (2021). Her most recent efforts to bring diverse voices to the small screen is a new, yet-to-be-released series, Spirit Rangers, created by Karissa Valencia, which Nee is producing through her company Laughing Wild. Nee and Valencia have committed to staffing the show with an entirely Native American writers room. This presentation will explore Nee’s work to create new voices for children’s television programming, diversifying the characters onscreen as well as the writers developing these characters behind the scenes.

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