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Meghan Markle Combines Past Acting Experience and Motherhood in Latest Project with Geena Davis

The Duchess of Sussex said a new report "highlights the gaps" about the portrayal of moms in the media

<p>Robin L Marshall/FilmMagic</p> Meghan Markle at the 2023 Variety Power of Women event on Nov. 16, 2023

Robin L Marshall/FilmMagic

Meghan Markle at the 2023 Variety Power of Women event on Nov. 16, 2023

Meghan Markle is exploring moms in the media.

The Duchess of Sussex, who worked as an actress on shows such as Suits before marrying Prince Harry and welcoming their two children, 4-year-old son Prince Archie and 2-year-old daughter Princess Lilibet, joined forces with Moms First and the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media for a new study about the representation of mothers in entertainment. Meghan and Prince Harry's Archewell Foundation funded the study, according to Vanity Fair, which was first to report the news.

"My past experience as an actress, and now today as a producer and mother, have amplified my belief in the critical importance of supporting women and moms both behind the lens and in front of it," Meghan, 42, said in a statement, according to the outlet. "This report about the portrayal of mothers in entertainment highlights the gaps we need to fill to achieve true representation in the content we create and consume, and I’m honored to support this work through the Archewell Foundation."

Davis told Vanity Fair, "The representation of motherhood seemed like such a throwback. It didn’t reflect modern reality anywhere near as closely as I had hoped or imagined."

<p>Amy Sussman/WireImage</p> Geena Davis at the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Feb. 24, 2024

Amy Sussman/WireImage

Geena Davis at the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Feb. 24, 2024

Related: Meghan Markle Hits the Slopes for 'Perfect Trip' with Friends

Of partnering with Meghan on the project, theThelma & Louise star said, "We love having her support and the support of Archewell. We can’t do it without financial support like that, and it’s obviously a subject that’s very near and dear to her heart."

Moms First CEO Reshma Saujani received early support from the Archewell Foundation.

"She had a line she would say, and I always steal it from her: The most important title I have is mother,” Saujani said, according to Vanity Fair. “The one ask is to show our multidimensionality. Show us both as moms and workers, don’t just show one or the other. Show us as we are: both."

The study found that mothers on television were not representative of the American population, with most being white, young and thin. There were no portrayals of mothers with disabilities, only 1.8% were overweight and 6.2% were queer. The father was the breadwinner of the family 90% of the time on TV shows, another example of how the families didn't reflect real-life statistics. The mothers were also overwhelmingly attractive, their homes spotless and their childcare efforts largely unaddressed.

"Given these findings, we present the following recommendations to TV executives, producers, and writers, as well as to all of the moms who aren’t seeing themselves on screen," the report said. "Moms First (experts on the support moms need to thrive) and the Geena Davis Institute (experts on the entertainment industry) are eager to support entertainment industry leaders in their efforts to more accurately portray motherhood on television."

<p>Karwai Tang/WireImage</p> Meghan Markle at the Invictus Games countdown event in Canada on Feb. 16, 2024

Karwai Tang/WireImage

Meghan Markle at the Invictus Games countdown event in Canada on Feb. 16, 2024

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Meghan, whose Archetypes podcast exploring the labels placed on women is now available on all platforms for the first time, is heading to Texas this week for an International Women’s Day event at the SXSW Conference. She's set to join Katie CouricBrooke Shields and Nancy Wang Yuen in a panel called "Breaking Barriers, Shaping Narratives: How Women Lead On and Off the Screen."

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