Brie Larson Calls For More Diversity In Film Criticism
"Am I saying I hate white dudes? No. But if you make a movie that's a love letter to women of colour, there's an insanely low chance a woman of colour critic will have a chance to review your movie."
Brie Larson was at the Women in Film's Crystal+Lucy Awards in Beverly Hills on Wednesday where she was honoured with the 2018 Award for Excellence in Film.
Larson used the honour to discuss a part of the film industry not necessarily talked about enough: the diversity of film critics.
Earlier in the week Larson had tweeted out a report by USC's Inclusivity Initiative which looked at the gender and racial diversity of critics on Rotten Tomatoes. Their findings revealed that not only are critics predominantly male, but specifically white males.
The report, titled "Critic's Choice?: Gender and Race/Ethnicity of Film Critics Across 100 Top Films of 2017", found that over 60 percent of reviewers were white men compared to 4.1 percent who were women of colour.
"Am I saying I hate white dudes?" the Academy Award winner asked the crowd at the event, "No, I'm not."
"What I am saying is that if you make a movie that is a love letter to women of colour, there is an insanely low chance a woman of colour will have the chance to see your movie and review your movie."
Before announcing some big news, Larson hit the message home saying, "We need to be conscious of our bias and make sure that everyone is in the room".
Using Ava DuVernay's A Wrinkle in Time as an example, Larson explained why these reviews can often harm films aimed at audiences that may not be the white men that make up the bulk of the critics.
Wrinkle received somewhat tepid reviews overall and performed somewhat averagely at the box office, which doesn't feel so much like a coincidence.
"I do not need a 40-year-old white dude to tell me what didn’t work for him out of a Wrinkle in Time. It wasn’t made for him. I want to know what that film meant to women of colour, to biracial women, to teen women of colour, to teens that are biracial. These are just facts these are not my emotions," Larson said.
"I want to know what my work means to the world, not a narrow view."
The Room actress also used herself as an example of the power of film criticism, alluding to the overwhelming positive reviews the film received. That positive momentum catapulted the film onto the awards circuit, eventually leading Larson to win the Best Actress Oscar in 2016.
The 28-year-old then said both the Toronto and Sundance film festivals have committed to including a minimum of 20 percent underrepresented critics. Larson then proposed a three point solution as to how the pool of critics in America could be changed to better represent the wider population.
Larson is currently ramping up to make her superhero debut as Captain Marvel in the 2019 solo outing that sees her take up the mantle of Carol Danvers. She'll also be featuring in the still untitled Avengers 4 which is also set to release next year.
Feature image: Getty.