During her speech at the Women In Film Los Angeles Crystal + Lucy Awards on Wednesday night, Brie Larson announced that both Sundance and Toronto film festivals will allocate 20 percent of their top-level press passes to underrepresented journalists in upcoming years.
“Am I saying that I hate white dudes? No, I’m not,” she said while accepting her Crystal Award for Excellence in Film. “But what I am saying is if you make a movie that is a love letter to a woman of color, there is an insanely low chance that a woman of color will have a chance to see your movie and review your movie.”
Larson cited findings from USC Annenberg’s inclusivity initiative, which reported finding earlier this week that over 60 percent of the top critics reviewing the 100 highest-grossing movies in 2017 were white males.
“I do not need a 40-year-old white dude to tell me what didn’t work for him about A Wrinkle in Time,” Larson continued. “It wasn’t made for him … I want to know what my work means to the world, not a narrow view.”
Breaking it down further, the Academy Award-winning actress said less than a quarter of those top critics were white women, less than 10 percent were men of color and only 2.5 percent were women of color, pointing out a “huge disconnect” between those numbers and the actual demographics of the U.S. population—30 percent white men, 30 percent white women, 20 percent men of color and 20 percent women of color.
After announcing Sundance and TIFF’s initiatives for change in this area, Larson also asked publicists to do their part in ensuring that diverse critics are invited to review their films.
“It really sucks that reviews matter, but reviews matter,” she said. “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, a good review can change your life—it changed mine.”