Audience engagement

Gillian Anderson as FBI Special Agent Scully

One of the longest-running science fiction series in network TV history, FOX’s The X-Files follows FBI special agents Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) and Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) as they investigate unexplained cases set aside by the government. A medical doctor and realist, Agent Scully is the foil to Agent Mulder’s conspiracy theorist character, and served as an early example of a strong female TV protagonist who inspired a generation of women to pursue careers in the sciences and law enforcement.

After learning about the previously-anecdotal “Scully Effect”— which observed the influx of women pursuing STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) as Agent Scully became a household TV name —21st Century Fox partnered with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in the Media to better understand and quantify the impacts that character had on viewers. The Institute is the first and only research-based organization working within media and entertainment to educate and influence content creators, marketers, and audiences on the urgent need to eradicate bias, gender imbalance, and harmful stereotypes while creating positive role models and strong female characters across the industry.

In celebration of March’s Women’s History Month, 21CF and the Geena Davis Institute carried out a research survey of women across the US, which found a correlation between women who were familiar with, or fans of, The X-Files and its influence on their career paths. This was the first such study to find evidence backed by data rather than anecdote:

  • Nearly two-thirds of women in the study who work in STEM say Agent Scully served as a role model and increased their belief in the importance of STEM
  • Women who regularly watched The X-Files are 50% more likely to work in STEM than less frequent/non-watchers
  • Women who watched The X-Files are 42% more likely to agree with the statement “I would encourage my daughter/granddaughter to enter a STEM field” than non-watchers.

The study has sparked prolific discussion on social media, with fans of Scully and the show using the hashtag #ScullyEffect to share how the representation of a respected independent woman in STEM influenced their career paths and lives—in the words of the Geena Davis Institute, “if she can see it, she can be it.” Read the full report here.

#ScullyEffect

Check out the video below and click here to learn more, and share your own story with the hashtag #ScullyEffect across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram today!

Season 11 of The X-Files is currently airing on FOX on Wednesdays at 8/7c. Seasons 1-10 are available in a variety of home entertainment formats.


Shot in the Dark, FOX Sports Films

To mark the launch of the new documentary Shot in the Dark from FOX Sports Films, FOX Sports has partnered with nonprofit Good Sports to provide much-needed athletic opportunities to Chicago youth. The initiative allows supporters to personally select sports equipment to be donated through Good Sports to various youth programs in the city, and all donations made directly through the “Shot in the Dark” page will be matched by FOX Sports parent company, 21st Century Fox, dollar-for-dollar up to $25,000.

Shot in the Dark, executive produced by Dwyane Wade and Chance the Rapper for the FOX Sports’ MAGNIFY documentary series, follows Chicago’s Orr Academy high school boys’ basketball team and their inspirational coach as they reach for greatness while facing systemic inequities that threaten to claim their future. Through on and off-court challenges – from championship and college ambitions to violence and incarceration – they assess the daily voices and influences of teammates, friends and family on their next steps as young men. 

Additionally, FOX Sports, Good Sports, and Picture Motion have partnered to screen Shot in the Dark in nearly 60 schools across the country. At screening events in LA and Detroit, Good Sports presented local schools with $20,000 each in donated sports equipment. Educators and community leaders have used the screenings to reflect on the role that school, coaches, and sports play in young athletes' lives. The tour has also provided an opportunity for students to discuss how gun violence has affected their own communities—at a time when student experiences with gun violence is at the forefront of national conversation, expanding the reach of this film’s audience has never been more timely.

“In connection to these powerful sports and community narratives, we’re committed to meaningfully working, within our FOX Sports Supports organization and alongside others, to help neighborhoods and schools capitalize on the awareness that ‘Magnify’ brings to the stories,” said Charlie Dixon, EVP Content at FOX Sports.

FOX Sports Supports, a philanthropic initiative of FOX Sports dedicated to serving the nonprofit community, has contributed millions of dollars to partner organizations through the production of public service announcements, broadcast and cable air time, special event activations, verbal and special messages during FOX Sports programming and in-kind support, including monetary and gift donations

Following its original February 24 airdate, Shot in the Dark is available via the FOX NOW app and video-on-demand. Re-airs are also scheduled on FS1 and various FOX Regional sports networks.


Chasing Genius, Nat Geo

21st Century Fox’s National Geographic and Sprint have announced neurological physical therapist Asha Gummadi as the winner of the “CHASING GENIUS: Unlimited Innovation” challenge. Asha, who is based in Philadelphia, will receive $25,000 to pursue her vision of helping doctors to provide virtual physical therapy in developing countries. This is National Geographic’s second CHASING GENIUS digital initiative, which aims to bring together a community of active, aspirational, socially conscious consumers who want to make a positive difference in the world.

The winning project is based on the development of a tele-rehabilitation platform called Therex Portal, which Asha hopes will help doctors prescribe virtual physical therapy to patients in developing countries where rehab centers and treatment aren’t readily available. The app demonstrates each exercise movement through detailed animations and delivers instructions in multiple languages.

Asha was inspired to create the smartphone app after she couldn’t effectively recommend exercises to her mother because of a language barrier, and after her grandfather’s experience living in a village where he couldn’t access rehab services after an amputation. "It is a great honor to be selected as the winner," she said. "I would like to thank every person who voted for me." Asha plans to use the prize money to further develop the app by adding multiple languages and voiceover instructions for exercises.

Since launching last spring, CHASING GENIUS has brought together a community of 35,000 members. This year’s challenge resonated across social, digital and broadcast media, generating more than 100 million impressions, 7 million content views and 229,000 social conversations.

Last year, four winners were selected for the inaugural CHASING GENIUS challenge.

To learn more about the CHASING GENIUS: Unlimited Innovation challenge, including the submission process and the council members who determined the 10 finalists, read National Geographic’s press release announcing Asha as this year’s winnerWatch Asha’s video submission on the CHASING GENIUS website.

CHASING GENIUS is inspired by National Geographic’s Emmy-nominated series “Genius.” The second season, focusing on the life of Pablo Picasso, premieres April 24.


National Geographic "The Race Issue"

National Geographic magazine’s special April 2018 issue will be dedicated to the topic of race and how it defines, separates and unites us. “The Race Issue,” announced today and available in its entirety online now, hits newsstands March 27. It will kick off National Geographic’s “Diversity in America” series for the rest of 2018, which will feature multimedia coverage of racial, ethnic and religious groups in the U.S. and their changing roles in the 21st century.

“This special issue, which we are calling The Race Issue, marks the beginning of a series of stories exploring race and diversity in America – what it is and, perhaps more important, what it isn’t – informed by the latest research, individual experiences and unparalleled visual storytelling that is the hallmark of National Geographic,” said Susan Goldberg, National Geographic magazine Editor-in-Chief and National Geographic Partners Editorial Director, in an internal memo.

The special issue includes an Editor’s Letter from Susan on the history of National Geographic’s coverage of race and the importance of shining a light on the complexities of the human journey. It features “Streets in His Name,” a photographic essay with text by Wendi C. Thomas about streets around the world bearing Martin Luther King Jr.’s name and their representation of his legacy. April 4, 2018, marks the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination.

The Race Issue also includes:

  • “Skin Deep”: a story by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Elizabeth Kolbert on the roots of scientific racism
  • “What Divides Us”: a story by author David Berreby on our evolutionary roots and psychological tendencies, as well as efforts to overcome bias and avoid societal conflict
  • “The Rising Anxiety of White America”: a story by journalist Michele Norris about the tension in certain U.S. towns and a look at the future of a more diverse population

“It’s my hope that this magazine issue fosters a constructive discussion about race, dispelling myths and helping to move us forward in a positive way,” Susan said.

Read the compelling stories in National Geographic’s special issue on race today. Join the conversation online using the hashtag #IDefineMe. There’s also a discussion guide tied to this issue available for parents and educators.

In April, National Geographic was named a 2017 Pulitzer Prize finalist in Explanatory Reporting for its groundbreaking January 2017 single-topic “Gender” issue.

“America Inside Out with Katie Couric,” a six-part weekly documentary series, premieres April 11 on National Geographic.


Ferdinand

To mark the release of “Ferdinand,” the newest animated adventure from Twentieth Century Fox Animation/Blue Sky Studios, parent company 21st Century Fox hosted a special sensory-friendly screening on the Fox lot in Los Angeles on the film’s opening night. The Dec. 15 event welcomed families from Fox and the Autism Society of Los Angeles who have children on the autism spectrum, as well as anyone who would appreciate the supportive environment of the screening.

“The Autism Society of Los Angeles valued the opportunity to partner on the ‘Ferdinand’ sensory-friendly screening,” said Kim Sinclair, Executive Director of the Autism Society of Los Angeles. “This safe and inclusive moviegoing experience for those with autism and developmental disabilities makes such a difference.  The theater turned up the lights and lowered the sound, helping those members of our community with sensory challenges. Our children, young adults and families were able to walk and talk freely, meet and enjoy the movie together – it was a delightful evening!”

“Providing inclusive experiences for our colleagues is an important part of our work, and we’re glad to have partnered with the Autism Society of Los Angeles to host this screening,” said Marilyn Hayes, Director, 21CF Global Inclusion.

More than one-third of all people with autism in California live in Los Angeles County, and the Autism Society of Los Angeles makes it its mission to support them. The organization’s many public programs include a monthly speaker series on topics relevant to the special needs community; government advocacy; summer camp programs for youth and adults; and annual conferences on adult housing, employment, education and more.

Learn more about 21CF’s commitment to fostering a culture and work environment where anyone from anywhere feels welcome and can thrive.