“No 40-Year-Old White Dude Is Needed To Critique A Wrinkle in Time” Actress Brie Larson Advocates For More Critics Of Color
Do film reviews make or break whether you go see something?
You know, I’m still in my feelings about Jordan Peele’s Get Out having a 99% Rotten Tomatoes score. Everything about that film was perfection, so I always wondered what critic hated on it enough for it not to receive 100%.
Well, there’s something that Academy Award winner Brie Larson is bringing to the attention of her industry counterparts that may not be new news to you – the overwhelming majority of film critics are white men. Duh.
In a Twitter post, the 28-year-old singled out Rotten Tomatoes as an example of how lopsided the review sphere is when it comes to representation.
“The top critics on @RottenTomatoes are OVERWHELMINGLY white and male. The newest report from @Inclusionists @USC shows a vast underrepresentaion of diverse voices,” it reads.
The future Captain Marvel star used her platform at yesterday’s Women in Film Crystal + Lucy Awards to address new statistics about how white men dominate the world of film reviews. And instead of caping for more white women to be represented, she focused, instead, on both men and women of color. For that, I give much kudos!
She referenced a study released Monday by the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, which found that almost 80 percent of film critics who reviewed last year’s top box-office films were male. And only 2.5 % of top critics in 2017 were women of color.
This is problematic because films like Get Out, Black Panther, and A Wrinkle in Time have people of color in mind as their core audience. Without that perspective reviewing the film, how can you get a true consensus of how well the film performed?
“I don’t need a 40-year-old white dude to tell me what didn’t work about A Wrinkle in Time,” she said at the ceremony. “It wasn’t made for him! I want to know what it meant to women of color, biracial women, to teen women of color.”
Larson not only literally made a statement, but she demanded that a specific action be taken. She asked studios to screen their films for underrepresented critics and include them in their junkets. Film reviews are very important to the industry even if they’re not important to you.
Haven’t you ever watched a film just because it was nominated for an Academy Award? All of those films are critically acclaimed, and for all those involved, it can change their lives as it did for Larson. Translation: it can change your coin. So, why not spread that change to underrepresented groups?
“A good review can change your life,” Larson said, who copped an Oscar fro the independent film Room in 2017. “It changed mine.”
You can check out her whole speech from the Women in Film Crystal + Lucy Awards below.
Renese spends her early mornings writing, her days securing insurance for TV shows, and her in-betweens blogging about the silliness and seriousness of life on her blog. Follow Renese on Twitter: @reneseford