Film and TV review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes has announced the addition of 600 critics as part of its efforts to improve the representation of diverse voices in film and TV criticism.
The new independently verified critics are featured on the home page of Tomatometer Critics. Sixty percent of them are freelancers, 55% are women and 10% publish their reviews on different channels including podcasts and YouTube.
According to the new critics, having an approved status on Rotten Tomatoes improved their industry access, social media metrics and traffic numbers. But they still reported a number of challenges. These include proving their legitimacy as journalists, travel costs to attend festivals and access to press preview screenings.
Rotten Tomatoes announced its plan to revamp the Tomatometer gauge last year. Its inclusiveness goals cover ethnicity, race, gender and the platforms where the reviews are published.
Fandango president Paul Yanover said they are trying to ensure that Rotten Tomatoes becomes as inclusive as possible, but they cannot control who gets a byline and who gets an assignment because the digital brand is only an aggregation platform.