Brie Larson’s rousing film critics speech is a wake up call for us all


Brie Larson spoke out about the need for greater diversity among film critics, and she used her platform at an award’s ceremony to get her message across.

Brie Larson is really showing how amazing she is. On Thursday, Larson accepted an award at the 2018 Crystal + Lucy Awards in Los Angeles and delivered a speech that was rousing in both its intensity and its message.

At the heart of her speech, Larson was demanding that there be greater diversity among film critics. As she put it, reviews can change a person’s life, just like one did for her.

According to USA Today, Brie Larson pointed out that while a movie might be made for women of color, female teenagers of color, or basically any other non-white individual, that does not mean the critics are a representation of the public who will be going to see those movies. Instead, a recent study found the majority of critics are white men.

And while Larson made it clear that she does not have an issue with white men, she does have an issue with the lack of diversity among the critics who review the movies. In fact, the actress was quoted as saying, “I don’t need a 40-year-old white dude to tell me what didn’t work about A Wrinkle in Time.”

Brie Larson shared that even when a movie is made for women of color, the chances of those same women getting the opportunity to write their own reviews for the film are staggeringly low. She pointed out that even if they added just nine diverse critics a year to the pool of reviewers, in five years there would be a better representation of the actual population.

While Larson made excellent points about how little diversity there is in the pool of film critics, that is not to say she did not have a solution. The actress was ready with more than one idea as to how diversity could be increased among critics.

Her first suggestion was that the people who provide the press passes for movie screenings need to make sure that they are offering access to “critics of color, many of whom are freelancers.” Her second suggestion was to make sure that the opportunities are there for more diverse critics, as she explained, “the talent is there, the access and opportunity are not.” Finally, she told everyone they needed to join other organizations already working toward greater diversity.

As Brie Larson pointed out, both the Toronto International Film Festival and the Sundance Film Festival have already committed to reserving 20 percent of their top press passes for critics that are usually not represented well at the festivals. Honestly, if these two festivals are willing to make a change, then there is no excuse for other organizations not to join in on making sure that there is greater diversity among film critics as a whole.

Reviews matter, and even if many people wish they didn’t, the reality is that reviews can be a boost for a film, or it can make it so that the film does poorly. Unfortunately, the audience doesn’t usually get someone who represents them reviewing the film, which means what might connect with a woman of color, doesn’t for an older white man.

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Some might not really think of diversity when it comes to the people actually reviewing the movies we watch, but their opinions shape the way we see movies. If we want to get more movies that represent people of color, women, and other minority identities, then there needs to be more opportunities out there people of diverse backgrounds to review films.