Since its launch in 2012, STAR India's groundbreaking social awareness series Satyamev Jayate has become the premier platform through which Indians can discuss their society's most pressing issues. The series features Bollywood star Aamir Khan in conversation with victims, activists, and experts, as they explore such subjects as the caste system, alcoholism, and political corruption. On April 22 at the 6th annual Women in the World Summit in New York City, Khan spoke at length about how the show has addressed women's rights issues over the course of its three-season run.
Speaking in conversation with Zainab Salbi, founder of the nonprofit Women for Women International, Khan explained that women's issues have been a part of Satyamev Jayate since the very first episode, which addressed the issue of female feticide. That episode alone, streamed digitally and broadcast on multiple STAR channels in six local languages, was watched by roughly 50 million people, and now, years later, its effects are still being felt.
Khan said that since that first episode aired in 2012, census figures showing 914 girls born compared to 1,000 boys in the states of Mahrashtra and Rajasthan (the worst states on record in terms of gender ratio) had changed radically. Today, the ratio has improved by 50 to 60 points, and local leaders have pointed to Satyamev Jayate as a major contributing factor.
As the show has gone on, it has continued to consistently address issues facing women and girls in India, from domestic violence to the dowry system to sexual violence and rape. In its most recent season, which aired on STAR in the fall of 2014, one episode framed violence against women as not just a women's issue but as a men's issue.
"Unless we redefine what it is to be a man, things aren't going to change," Khan said to Salbi. "You cannot raise a boy telling him not to cry. You are in effect distancing him from emotion and then you are surprised when he grows up and beats his wife."
The talk also gave Khan a chance to reflect on the success of the show, which has garnered an audience of an estimated 517 million viewers and raised more than $45 million for its NGO partners.
"No one would have imagined that a show that speaks of such heavy topics would be so popular across the country," Khan said. "And the fact that it's so popular really speaks well of Indians today. We have issues, we have problems, but we want to move ahead and improve ourselves. That's what the success of the show tells us."
21st Century Fox is committed to minimizing our environmental impacts, growing sustainably, and inspiring others to take action. Each year, our businesses come together to celebrate Earth Day, giving our colleagues a chance to learn how they can protect the planet and support the communities in which they live and work. Here are a few ways our businesses are getting involved:
FOX Broadcasting Company continued its month-long "Green It. Mean It." campaign, an annual initiative to raise awareness of environmental issues and give viewers practical tips toward making their homes and workplaces more sustainable. Talent from all FOX shows record the PSAs every year, and this year's campaign features the stars of such hit shows as Empire, Gotham, and Last Man on Earth.
On April 16, the company hosted its annual Eco Fair on the Fox Studios Lot in Los Angeles. The fair brings together dozens of vendors and nonprofits to provide local, organic food and educate attendees on ways to protect the planet. The organizations present included TreePeople, Blue Can Water, Ecos, Goat & Kettle, Sow Swell, Zero Cost Solar, and the Theodore Payne Foundation. Fox also hosted gardening workshops and info sessions about eco-friendly commuting.
In New York, colleagues enjoyed a seasonal foods cooking class, free tickets to the New York Botanical Garden, and a chance to participate in New York Cares Day, a city-wide volunteering initiative to clean up the city's parks. New York-area colleagues spent the day paining fences and spreading mulch at Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem. 21st Century Fox has supported New York Cares since 1999.
Join us in celebrating Earth Day by making small changes to your routine that add up to a big impact. Check out these tips from FOX talent to find out how.
In 2008, FOX Sports launched FOX Sports University, an academic program that gives college students hands-on experience in the sports business. Participating students work closely with FOX Sports executives on a project in sports management, business, or journalism. The current academic year is the largest yet for the program, which now offers courses at 28 schools across the U.S.
"For the students, [FOX Sports University] is a way for them to get real world experience and an opportunity for them to expand what they're doing at the school," said Chris Hannan, EVP of Communications for FOX Sports, during a recent appearance promoting the program on The Willis Report. "And for us, we've now got some of the youngest, brightest minds working on our properties in all different facets."
By partnering with the country's top universities, FOX Sports University puts students in touch with FOX Sports executives to address a marketing, research, technology, or strategy challenge that the business faces. The executives outline the challenge, and as the course progresses, the students develop their solution, be it an advertising campaign, a marketing strategy, or any number of additional projects.
"Seeing an idea that started in the library come to life and actually be executed and broadcast on air was an experience you can't really get in any other classroom," said Anna Folwell, a graduate of the program who now works at FOX Sports. "We have top-level executives come in and help you craft a campaign that comes from your original idea, and then you get to follow it all the way through."
FOX Sports University plans to expand to 50 colleges and universities over the next several years.
Learn more at FOXSportsUniversity.com.
On Monday, April 20, renowned astrophysicist and Cosmos host Neil deGrasse Tyson will return to television with StarTalk, the first ever science-focused late night talk show. The series, airing on the National Geographic Channel, is based on Tyson's popular radio show and podcast of the same name, and the channel has already picked up StarTalk for a second season.
Recorded before a live audience at the American Museum of Natural History's Rose Center for Earth and Space, where Tyson serves as director of the Hayden Planetarium, StarTalk features Tyson in conversation with a popular Hollywood guest about the wonders of science and technology.
"People have always had an appetite for science," Tyson told The Washington Post. "A scientist is someone who simply never grew up. They've maintained their childlike wonder of the unknown. And we all have that within us."
Star Trek's George Takei appears on the first episode, and upcoming guests include former President Jimmy Carter, director Chris Nolan, and producer Norman Lear. Bill Nye the Science Guy also appears in each episode via pre-recorded video segments.
"There's this appetite for science and the universe that is rising," Tyson said on The TODAY Show. "[The show] is a celebration of what it's like to think like a geek."
StarTalk will premiere Monday, April 20, at 11:00 PM ET / 10:00 PM CT on the National Geographic Channel.
STAR Plus, the flagship channel of the STAR India television network owned by 21st Century Fox, recently launched Chal Kar Pehel, a national campaign raising awareness for women's rights issues and advocating for gender equality. In addition to on-air promotions and social media engagement, STAR Plus organized walkathon events in the three cities of Bhopal, Lucknow, and Chandigarh, encouraging people across the country to "take the first step" toward equal rights for women.
For each walkathon, STAR coordinated with schools, colleges, and local women's groups, as well as local radio stations, television channels, and print media, to encourage as many people as possible to participate. On the national level, STAR Plus aired videos featuring messages from talent speaking out for gender equality, and the channel used social media to start conversations, encouraging people to share their stories about the women who have made a difference in their lives.
At each of the walkathons, the cast members of Everest, one of the most popular serials on STAR Plus, addressed the crowd. Everest tells the story of Anjali Singh Rawat (Shamata Anchan), who is the only woman in a team of mountain climbers attempting to scale Mount Everest. The show addresses gender discrimination head on, and follows Anjali as she finds ways to overcome it. This story, according to Anchan, made the show a natural fit for the campaign.
"If Anjali, someone who has faced the wrath of being discriminated against in her own home for being a girl, can spread her wings and summit the highest peak in the world, then any woman can look for the strength within and achieve her own personal Everest," Anchan said. "I want every woman to take that first step towards their Everest."
For more information on Chal Kar Pehel, watch the video above.
On March 31, the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced the nominees for the 42nd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, and Xploration Awesome Planet and Xploration Earth 2050 received nominations. The two series are part of Xploration Station, Fox TV Station's two-hour block of STEM programming airing on Saturday mornings.
Philippe Cousteau, host of Xploration Awesome Planet and grandson of legendary explorer Jacques Cousteau, received a nomination for Outstanding Lifestyle/Travel/Children's Series Host. Xploration Earth 2050, which explores what the world might look like in 35 years, received a nomination for Outstanding Special Class Series.
The other series comprising Xploration Station are Xploration Outer Space, hosted by Harvard scholar and astronautics expert Emily Calandrelli, and Xploration Animal Science, which explores animal behavior. In January, Fox TV Stations renewed all four series through 2017.
"The Fox renewal shows that Xploration Station is resonating with an audience that has so many other choices," said Executive Producer Steve Rotfeld. "We get emails every week from not only viewers but school teachers who reference the shows in class and recommend it to their students."
The Daytime Emmy Awards ceremony will be broadcast live on Pop on Sunday, April 26, at 8:00 p.m. EDT/5:00 p.m. PDT. For more information, including a full list of nominees, visit EmmyOnline.com.
All four Xploration Station series are available to stream for free on Hulu.
After six seasons and 121 episodes, FOX's pioneering musical series Glee came to an end on Friday, March 20. The series leaves behind not only a long record of industry successes, including six Primetime Emmy Awards, four Golden Globes, and more than 200 singles in the Billboard Hot 100, but also a long legacy of leveraging its popularity to have a positive impact on society.
Glee devoted scores of episodes to issues relevant to young people, from bullying and teen pregnancy to physical disability and texting while driving, and the series inspired a renaissance in school music programs. A 2010 study by the National Association for Music Education found that 43% of high school choral instructors attributed the rise in interest and participation in their programs to the success of Glee. The cast and creative team at the show recognized this early on and supported school arts programs throughout the show's run.
Glee also became known for its nuanced representations of the LGBT community. At its 26th annual award ceremony on March 21st, the LGBT advocacy organization GLAAD gave the show a Special Recognition Award for "consistently introducing groundbreaking LGBT characters and storylines." Joe Earley, Chief Operating Officer at Fox Television Group, accepted the award on behalf of the show, and trans actor Alex Newell, who played Wade "Unique" Adams on the show, gave a special performance of "I Know Where I've Been" from Hairspray and received a standing ovation. 21st Century Fox and Fox Networks Group were Titanium Sponsors of the event.
The show's track record of positive representations of LGBT characters was part of its larger commitment to feature those who had traditionally been underrepresented on television, including LGBT characters, people of color, and characters with physical or mental disabilities. Ryan Murphy, who created Glee along with Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan, has been outspoken about this aspect of the show: "I wanted to talk about the underdog element in society: the pregnant girl, the gay kid, the kid in a wheelchair, the African-American girl who's one of five black kids in their school," Murphy told USA Today. "I wanted to give voices to people who don't have voices." With this mission in mind, Glee became an inspiration for viewers around the world to embrace their individuality, express their creativity, and be proud of who they are.
Learn more about Glee's legacy of social impact in our full case study.
21st Century Fox Partners with Give a Note Foundation to Honor 'Glee' Finale by Supporting School Music Programs
To commemorate the series finale of FOX's groundbreaking musical Glee, 21st Century Fox has announced a new partnership with the Give a Note Foundation to establish the 21st Century Fox Give a Note Grants, which will support up to 20 under-funded music education programs at schools across the United States with grants from $2,500 to $5,000. Over the course of its six seasons, Glee has sparked renewed interest and participation in school arts programs throughout the country, and this partnership celebrates that impact.
The Grants are the latest chapter in a long-standing relationship between 21st Century Fox and the Give a Note Foundation. The company first worked with the organization on the 2011 Glee Give a Note campaign, which donated a portion of the proceeds from every sale of the Glee Season 2 DVD to at-risk school music programs. 21st Century Fox will work closely with the Give a Note Foundation to identify the schools that will receive these new grants.
"Over the past six years, Glee has inspired generations of viewers to recognize the vital importance of arts education and demand music programs in their schools," said Shira Oberlander, Director of Social Impact at 21st Century Fox. "We are thrilled to celebrate that legacy, and we could not be more proud of the work the cast, crew, and creative team have done to promote music education on this remarkable show."
For more information on the Give a Note Foundation, visit GiveANote.org. The two-hour series finale of Glee airs Friday, March 20, at 8PM on FOX.
During a presentation at SXSW earlier this week, the National Geographic Channel announced that StarTalk, its new late night science-themed talk show, will premiere on Monday, April 20th, at 11PM ET/10PM CT. Neil deGrasse Tyson, renowned astrophysicist and star of FOX's Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, will host the hour-long series, which explores the ways science and technology have influenced the lives of his guests.
Based on Dr. Tyson's popular podcast of the same name, the weekly series will feature an interview with Tyson and a guest, as well as a discussion between Tyson and a group of panelists before a live studio audience at the American Museum of Natural History's Rose Center for Earth and Space in New York City. Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter, biologist Richard Dawkins, retired Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, producer Norman Lear, film director Christopher Nolan, and Star Trek actor George Takei are all scheduled to appear as guests. Bill Nye the Science Guy will also make weekly appearances via a pre-taped segment.
"Expanding the StarTalk radio show and podcast into a television show on National Geographic Channel offers a unique opportunity to show viewers how pervasive science is in our culture and how entertaining science can be," said Dr. Tyson. "Throughout the show we explore current issues with top industry leaders and pair that with comical, but informed, commentary. From politicians and actors to scientists, social activists, and more, the impact of science knows no bounds."
The series will air weekly on Mondays at 11PM on the National Geographic Channel and will repeat on Fridays at 7PM.
Visit StarTalkRadio.net for more information.
Photo: Tyson with comedian Eugene Mirman and astronaut Mike Massimino, both upcoming StarTalk guests
At its inaugural Social Good Awards on Monday, March 3, the media news organization Cynopsis honored the television industry's outstanding social responsibility initiatives for the 2014 year. Nat Geo WILD and FOX Sports, both members of the 21st Century Fox family, each received awards for their Big Cat Week and Special Olympics campaigns, respectively.
Tying with the USA Network's "Characters Unite" initiative, Nat Geo WILD's Big Cat Week won in the overall Awareness Campaign or Initiative category. In addition to on-air programming, Big Cat Week supports on-the-ground conservation projects in habitats where the world's big cat population is in decline. More information is available on Nat Geo WILD's website.
FOX Sports Supports, the charitable division of FOX Sports, was recognized in the Awareness Campaign: Sports category for its work surrounding the 2014 Special Olympic USA Games. FOX Sports provided on-air and online media exposure across its suite of channels via on-air specials, PSAs, and in-person activation, supporting the more than 3,500 athletes that competed in the Games, as well as their friends and families.
FOX Sports also received several honorable mentions, including in the Nonprofit/Corporate Partnership category for its work with AYSO, the Social Good Shining Stars award for its FOX Sports Supports initiative, and in the Integrated Campaign for a TV Series category for FOX Sports Regional Marketing's "FOX Sports Salutes the Troops" campaign.
"We know that our community is a vibrant group of engaged professionals who are also civic-minded citizens who want to give back to the public through their profession," said Roberta Caploe, Cynopsis Editorial Director.
For more information, including a complete list of winners and photos from the event, visit Cynopsis.com.