Rotten Tomatoes is adding hundreds of new voices in an effort to increase diversity among its majority white-male critics base.
The review aggregation website announced plans Tuesday to overhaul the critics criteria for its Tomatometer rating system. The revamp will include a wider range of diverse reviewers from new media platforms, such as podcasters and vloggers.
In a statement on its website, Rotten Tomatoes – which relies heavily on reviews from print writers – said newspaper jobs have dwindled in recent years, while the number of online film and television critics has surged.
“Often, the Arts Desk has been the first place to suffer cuts when things get tough – traditional full-time arts journalism jobs, let alone full-time working critics, are a rarity today,” the site said about newspaper downsizing.
The overhaul comes after a June study from the University of Southern California, which found that just 18 percent of film reviews on Rotten Tomatoes were authored by people from underrepresented racial/ethnic backgrounds. The study also determined only 22 percent of the reviews were written by female critics.
As of today, Rotten Tomatoes says it’s added 200 newly-approved critics, and it plans to add hundreds more in the near future.
RT will take “insight, audience, quality and dedication” into consideration when deciding who gets approved. Details on becoming a Tomatometer-approved critic can be found here.