Future Captain Marvel Brie Larson doesn’t shy away from letting her thoughts be known on controversial subjects — her refusal to clap for Casey Affleck at the 2017 Oscars being a prime example — and she stayed consistent at the Crystal + Lucy Awards while discussing a timely topic. That would be the lack of diversity among film critics, which was recently highlighted by the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative’s report that dug into 2017’s 100 top-grossing films, for which white women and minority women only penned 18% and 4%, respectively, of the criticism.
While accepting the Crystal Award for Excellence in Film, Larson discussed how she’s not interested in what a white man thinks of A Wrinkle In Time, for she’d much prefer the perspective of a woman or color a teenager on the film. Larson made sure to repeatedly tell the audience, “I don’t hate white dudes,” but she believes there’s no excuse for a lack of critical diversity. Per Variety:
“If you make a movie that is a love letter to women of color, there is a chance that a woman of color does not have access to review and critique your film. Do not say the talent is not there, because it is.”
The USC Annenberg study wasn’t treading lightly, for about 200,000 reviews were examined. White males published around 64% of those pieces, and as discussed above, women made up less than a quarter of that film critic pool with minority women being drastically underrepresented. This disparity can drastically affect box-office potential for indie films, which rely heavily upon the word of mouth that can arise from critical enthusiasm.
However, Larson announced during her speech that both the Sundance and Toronto film festivals have pledged 20% of press credentials to minorities, which is, at least, measurable progress.