The effort to include more diversity within the entertainment criticism community is further increasing. And now one of the most prominent review aggregator sites has just taken its first major step to include more voices from diverse backgrounds.
Rotten Tomatoes has taken it upon itself to open its doors to other critics who will now be able to contribute to both film and television. More on the story below.
In a press release from Rotten Tomatoes the site recognizes that the times are changing, and the way we access our reviews was not the same as years ago when the only reviews you could read were in a newspaper, hear on the radio, or watch Siskel and Ebert. The industry itself has gone through major changes. We can watch movies from our house in an instant now. And all of that is being critiqued. Now with the rise of streaming, podcasts, and reaction videos, Rotten Tomatoes sees the rise in new critics who have found their niche.
Here’s what they had to say about adapting to those new changes:
“At the same time, new kinds of critics emerged, innovative thinkers and commentators who have seized on new platforms, developed their own sites and publications, or forged strong freelance careers, to have their voices heard. Many of these voices went unheard when traditional media was at its dominant prime, and too many still go unheard today.
In revamping our Critics Criteria, we sought to bring the criteria into better alignment with the way media works today, to promote the inclusion of more voices that reflect the varied groups of people who consume entertainment, and to maintain the high standards we’ve always set for inclusion in the group of Tomatometer-approved critics.”
This is great news for freelancers who do not have a place to call home. I am fortunate enough to be one of the few critics on this site and I welcome the opportunity the site is giving to open its doors to other voices who go unheard. But there will be criteria that have to be met in order for a critic to be Rotten Tomatoes approved. Among those values, the site takes insight, audience quality, and dedication into consideration.
The move also speaks to the reflection of representation in Hollywood. In just the past year, we’ve seen films like Coco, Black Panther, Sorry To Bother You, and Crazy Rich Asians speak to cultures that have virtually gone unnoticed. Now we get to see rom-coms and superhero films but with a strong cultural narrative. And while it may speak to one culture, the overall themes are still very much universal.
It’s important to read these pieces and criticisms from all different voices as they are able to provide a perspective that you may not have seen or thought of before.