A soon-to-be launched website promises to give women film critics the microphone.
It's hardly a well-kept secret that Hollywood is a boys' club. The statistics prove, time and time again, that even when award season celebrates diverse stories, it's dudes (and specifically white dudes) who are the ones most often starring in, directing, and even shooting our blockbusters. Yet what people might not realise is that film criticism is just as dominated by men. Per a study by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University, 73% of the top critics on popular review aggregating site, Rotten Tomatoes.
That can be a problem when so many people use the site's "Tomatometer" (a.k.a. a summarisation of what percent "fresh," or well-received, a movie is) as a gauge for whether they want to shell out money to see a film.
"[Men and women] like different things. Sometimes they like the same things, but their tastes diverge. If the Tomatometer is slided so completely to one set of tastes, that drives box office in the [United States,] absolutely."
According to IndieWire, new media platform and website CherryPicks, which was created by Miranda Bailey and Rebecca Odes, will rival Rotten Tomatoes in that it will also act as an aggregator of film reviews. However, this movie site, which will launch later this year, will exclusively pull from the work of female critics.
"Our goal with CherryPicks is to become the leading brand for the female perspective on media,” said Odes in an official statement to IndieWire. "The timing is perfect. The male-dominated culture of Hollywood has reached a breaking point. It’s time to start building the Hollywood of the future — one that recognises the multi-tiered problem of gender bias — and correct it every step of the way."
The website will also feature original content like podcasts, reviews, and roundtable conversations with women in the entertainment industry.
This isn't the first time that women have created an online platform in order to inform women about the movies they are watching. In December, not long after allegations against Harvey Weinstein and more alleged sexual harassers in Hollywood came to light, the website Rotten Apples launched. This site allows one to type in a movie or TV show and see if it is associated with any alleged predators. (The more you know... is horrifying, actually.)
We'll have to wait until CherryPicks officially launches to see what it has in store for the woman cinephile, but we won't have to wait too long to get a glimpse of what the site could look like. According to IndieWire, Bailey and Odes will introduce Cherry Bites, "an email subscription that will spotlight women in criticism and female perspectives on media," later this month. Consider me signed up.