Back in 2018, the movie review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes announced that they would be expanding the pool of critics covered by the Tomatometer. The Tomatometer approved critics are those that have their reviews counted towards the percentage of a movie’s review score. The website made good on its promise as in the last year they have added over 600 new critics of various platforms and voices.
Here are the numbers. 55% of those new critics were women. 60% of them were freelance critics. 10% were for non-written critics that are either recognized through online video or podcasts.
Rotten Tomatoes parent company Fandango had its president Paul Yanover speak about how much progress the site had made.
“Rotten Tomatoes is connecting audiences with authentic, trusted information from professional critics and fellow fans, to help them discover entertainment and decide what to watch in theaters and at home. Significant advancements are happening across Rotten Tomatoes, from the team’s work to increase critic diversity in the Tomatometer to expanding consumer confidence with the new Verified Audience Score. We are especially proud to commit to another $100,000 grant in 2020 to support film festivals and industry initiatives that further inclusion in entertainment criticism.”
In addition to simply adding more critics, Rotten Tomatoes has been trying to make it easier for them to gain more coverage by opening up a grant program that would cover travel and lodging at film festivals.
Rotten Tomatoes senior manager Jenny Jediny spoke of the improved commitment towards critics.
“We are encouraged by the progress we’re making towards creating a Tomatometer-approved critics pool that reflects the global entertainment audience and we will continue to build on our momentum. We invite our industry colleagues to join us in our effort to create more opportunities for journalists, especially those from underrepresented groups. Our new critics have shared with us the obstacles they still face, such as gaining access to press screenings and film festivals and securing writing assignments.”
Full disclosure, one of those newly added Rotten Tomatoes critics was myself.