CRITICAL: Creating a More Diverse and Inclusive Bench of Entertainment Critics and Reporters

TIME'S UP pins on table
TIME'S UP is working to help diversify the ranks of entertainment critics and journalists. © Devan King/TIME'S UP Foundation

TIME’S UP is taking action to increase representation among critics and reporters in the entertainment industry. Our mission is CRITICAL.

In the early days of TIME’S UP, we realized that critics and journalists are important gatekeepers in entertainment. Their views impact a film’s distribution, its marketing budget, the future funding of similar projects, and what stories are told.

In 2018, TIME’S UP launched its Critics and Journalists Initiative and partnered with the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative to release the Critic’s Choice 2 study, which revealed that some 78 percent of professional critics are men and 83 percent are white, while the population watching content has never been more far-reaching or diverse. Women of color, in particular, are written off as critics by a ratio of 31 to 1.

When all these gatekeepers look the same, or have the same life experiences, that limits the kind of art that is seen and celebrated in our culture.

In response, TIME’S UP advocated for inclusion, resulting in an accelerated pace of change. For example, Rotten Tomatoes to update its selection criteria to diversify the critics that post reviews on their site and the Toronto Film Festival and Sundance Film Festival pledged to give one in five of their press badges to journalists from underrepresented groups.

Now, in partnership with the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative and with support from the Nathan Cummings Foundation, TIME’S UP launched the CRITICAL database, an opt-in resource to broaden access and opportunities for women, people of color, and other groups currently underrepresented among cultural critics and journalists. We’re tracking our progress closely, with target inclusion goals to get us closer to a day where the gatekeepers of our culture actually represent the population.

Representation matters. Our goal is simply for the make-up of professional critics and reporters to more accurately reflect the world we live in.

Are you an underrepresented critic or reporter dedicated to covering the work of all creatives across the entertainment industry? We invite you to join the TIME’S UP entertainment community and add your name to CRITICAL.