×

Time’s Up, USC Annenberg Launch Database of Underrepresented Journalists, Critics

Time’s Up and the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative on Wednesday said it would be launching a database containing the names of entertainment journalists and critics from underrepresented groups following a recent study that found a lack of racial and gender diversity among film reviewers.

The study, published by USC researcher Stacy L. Smith, found that reviews of the 100 top-grossing films of 2017 featured on RottenTomatoes.com, nearly 80% were written by men — a ratio of 3.5 to 1. Similarly, 82% of critics were white, the USC study found.

The database, known as Critical, already has more than 200 journalists and will officially launch in the coming months. The tool is intended to allow studios, film critics associations, and others to more easily find and connect with journalists and critics from underrepresented groups.

The USC study and one published Tuesday from the Center for the Study of Women in Film and Television at San Diego State University are drawing attention to the lack of diversity in film criticism. The USC study also prompted action by the Sundance and Toronto Film Festival, both of which have pledged 20% of their press credentials to minorities to better reflect the American population.

Actress Brie Larson recently emphasized the issue, saying that “reviews change lives” and impact the films that are considered for awards season. She also reiterated the importance in having an industry that truly reflects the communities we live in.

The San Diego State university study argued that the gender of film reviewers can affect the visibility of female-led films. It analyzed the language used by male and female film critics when reviewing films by male and female directors. Reviews written by women were more likely than those written by men to mention the name of the woman who directed the feature and use positive comments when discussing her skills, work, and/or vision. Slightly more than half of reviews written by women about a female director’s movie featured exclusively complimentary comments compared with 38% of reviews that were written by men.

Journalists interested in becoming a part of the database can email critical@timesupnow.com.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Parasite

    Korea Unveils Measures to Help Coronavirus-Hit Film Industry

    The South Korean government has unveiled a package of measures to help the local film industry, which is currently reeling from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. Chief among the measures is the decision to exempt multiplex chains from having to contribute to the country’s movie development fund. This normally operates as a mandatory contribution [...]

  • 'Blue Story' Review: A British Invasion

    'Blue Story': Film Review

    The blockbusters will be postponed, the indie films in many cases will head straight to streaming. But even before the apple cart of movie distribution got tipped over, “Blue Story” had traced an unlikely path. , it was written and directed by Andrew Onwubolu, the London-based rapper, producer, actor, and director who bills himself as [...]

  • Battle of Jangsari

    Megan Fox’s ‘Battle of Jangsari’ Inks Multiple Sales Deals

    Korean-made war film “Battle of Jangsari,” which features Megan Fox in a key role as a front line reporter, is set to play in multiple European and Asian territories. The film already had a deal with WellGo USA for North America. Seoul-based sales agent, Finecut said that it had additionally licensed the film to Pandastorm [...]

  • Doc Edge 2019 Forum

    New Zealand’s Doc Edge Festival To Shift Online

    Doc Edge, New Zealand’s annual factual film festival, will this year become an online-only event. Instead of cancelling due to the disruptions to production and travel caused by the coronavirus outbreak, the festival will move all screenings and events into the virtual space. The virtual festival is scheduled to run between May 28 and June [...]

  • SAG-AFTRA HQ

    SAG-AFTRA Health Plan Cuts Premiums by 50% Due to Coronavirus Crisis

    The SAG-AFTRA Health Plan has cut 50% from the cost of premiums for the second quarter in response to the coronavirus crisis. SAG-AFTRA members were notified of the reduction on Wednesday via a message from SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris and national executive director David White. They said the cuts would cover participants who had been [...]

  • Dolly Parton at the Grand Ole

    Film News Roundup: Dolly Parton Donates $1 Million for Research on Coronavirus Cure

    In today’s film news roundup, Dolly Parton makes a donation for coronavirus cure, Howie Mandel and Ashlee Simpson join the voice cast of “Pierre The Pigeon-Hawk” and American Documentary launches an artists emergency fund. RESEARCH DONATION Dolly Parton has donated $1 million to Nashville’s Vanderbilt Hospital to help aid research to find a cure for [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content