Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett are joining fellow Best Actress Oscar winner Brie Larson in pushing for more inclusion among film critics. The “Ocean’s 8” leads spoke to London newspaper The Telegraph about the issue, a revived industry talking point since Monday’s publication of “Critic’s Choice?,” a USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative report on how white male reviewers dominated the dialogue around last year’s biggest films.
Bullock wants to “balanc[e] out the pool of critics so that it reflects the world we are in.” According to the USC Annenberg report, the U.S. population consists of 30 percent white men, 30 percent white women, 20 percent underrepresented men, and 20 percent underrepresented women. Meanwhile, white male critics wrote almost 64 percent of the 19,559 Rotten Tomatoes reviews consulted as research.
“A studio can support a film and it’s the invisible faces on the internet, and often male reviewers, who can view it through a prism of misunderstanding,” said Blanchett. “I think that is a really big part of the equation.” Her co-star Bullock suggested, “It would be nice if reviewers reflected who the film is for, like children should review children’s films, not a 60-year-old man. I guess his opinion would be kind of skewed.”
Larson expressed similar sentiments at Wednesday night’s Crystal + Lucy Awards: “[Audiences] are not allowed enough chances to read public discourse on these films by the people that the films were made for. I do not need a 40-year-old white dude to tell me what didn’t work for him about ‘[A] Wrinkle in Time.’ It wasn’t made for him. I want to know what it meant to women of color, to biracial women, to teen women of color, to teens that are biracial.”
While Larson reiterated throughout her speech “I do not hate white dudes,” Bullock made the clarification thusly: “I love men, I want to be at the table with men but I also want to be invited to the table that the men are at.”
Blanchett’s rep declined a request for further comment; IndieWire has reached out to Bullock’s rep.