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. For example, TIME’S UP supported advocacy efforts, which led Rotten Tomatoes to update its selection criteria to diversify the critics who post reviews on their site.

In response, TIME’S UP advocated for inclusion, resulting in an accelerated pace of change.

Now, 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 underrepresented groups among cultural critics and journalists.

 

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

Right away, seven renowned film festivals have come together to make the ‘CRITICAL’ commitment: to allot a portion of their credentials to members of the CRITICAL Database. View the full list of film festivals committed to allocating credentials to members of CRITICAL here.

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.

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.