Meghan supports a groundbreaking new study about the portrayal of mothers in the media

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Meghan backs a study about mothers in mediaMax Mumby/Indigo - Getty Images

The Duchess of Sussex has backed an important new report exploring the portrayal of mothers in the media and entertainment industry.

Just in time for International Women's Day, the nonprofit organisation Moms First announced the release of Rewriting Motherhood: How TV Represents Mom and What We Want to See Next — a groundbreaking study completed in partnership with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, and supported by Meghan through the Sussexes’ charitable venture, the Archewell Foundation.

“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,” the duchess said in a statement. “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 honoured to support this work through The Archewell Foundation.”

The actor and activist Geena Davis expressed her gratitude to Meghan in an interview with Vanity Fair. “We love having her support and the support of Archwell,” she told the outlet. “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.”

johannesburg, south africa october 02 prince harry, duke of sussex not pictured and meghan, duchess of sussex visit tembisa township to learn about youth employment services yes on october 2, 2019 in johannesburg, south africa the duke and duchess of sussex are on an official visit to south africa photo by facundo arrizabalaga poolgetty images
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The “first-of-its-kind report,” as it's referred to in a press release, analyses portrayals of mothers in 2022 scripted television programs in order to see “the degree to which fictionalised portrayals of mothers in media reinforce or disrupt” unrealistic expectations of motherhood. It found that a majority of TV mothers are portrayed as white, young, and thin, and that TV families often portrayed the father as the breadwinner.

Meghan — who shares Prince Archie, four, and Princess Lilibet, two, with husband Prince Harry — has long championed issues that affect parents. During last October's inaugural Archewell Foundation Summit, she and Harry offered a platform for parents whose children were negatively affected by overexposure to social media.

“The burden of this can't solely be on the parents,” the duchess said at the event. “A lot of the conversations we've had quietly behind the scenes with tech executives, they do feel that they've created parental controls and certain guard rails to curb this, but not all parents are tech savvy and can navigate that, and there needs to be a better solution than that. You put in safeguards so when situations like this keep happening, you're still working to keep people safe.”

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