Brie Larson has called on film festival officials to invite a diverse range of critics to events.
The Room actress made a plea for more inclusivity in movie criticism as she collected the Crystal Award for Excellence in Film at the Women in Film Crystal + Lucy Awards held in Los Angeles on Wednesday night (13Jun18).
During her speech, Brie cited research the University of Southern California (USC) released earlier this week which reported that film critics are "overwhelmingly" white and male.
"I don't need a 40-year-old white dude to tell me what didn't work about A Wrinkle in Time. It wasn't made for him! I want to know what it meant to women of colour, biracial women, to teen women of colour," she said, according to USA Today. "Am I saying I hate white dudes? No, I am not. What I am saying is 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 a chance to see your movie and review your movie."
Researchers from USC's Annenberg Inclusion Initiative studied reviews of the 100 top-grossing films of 2017 that were posted on the aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes. Of the over 19,500 reviews shared, 77.8 per cent were by male critics and 22.2 per cent were by female critics. In addition, female critics from minority groups accounted for just 4.1 per cent of reviews.
"It really sucks that reviews matter - but reviews matter. Good reviews out of festivals give small, independent films a fighting chance to be bought and seen. Good reviews help films gross money, good reviews slingshot films into awards contenders," the star said, going on to reference her 2015 independent drama Room, for which she won her Academy Award. "A good review can change your life. It changed mine."
During her speech, Brie also announced that both the Sundance and Toronto film festivals will now allocate 20 per cent of press credentials to underrepresented journalists.
Frances McDormand, a proponent of the inclusion rider concept, acted as a presenter, while others honoured at the event included the female cast of Marvel superhero movie Black Panther, actress Alexandra Shipp, ABC president Channing Dungey as well as Denisia "Blu June" Andrews and Brittany "Chi" Coney, the Grammy Award-winning songwriting and production team behind Nova Wav.