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Tuesday 25 June 2019

Cate Blanchett and Sandra Bullock criticise gender imbalance among film critics

A recent study found there are seven men to every two female reviewers.

Cate Blanchett and Sandra Bullock (Ian West/PA)
Cate Blanchett and Sandra Bullock (Ian West/PA)

By Laura Harding, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Cate Blanchett and Sandra Bullock have criticised the gender imbalance among film critics and said they would like to see greater equality in the industry.

A recent study found that nearly 80% of film critics are male.

Discussing whether Hollywood is getting better at telling stories about women, Blanchett told the Press Association: “It’s Hollywood but it’s also the media, because 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 and so I think that is a really big part of the equation.”

Bullock, who stars opposite Blanchett in new heist film Ocean’s 8, added: “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.”

Researchers at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative analysed reviews of the 100 top-grossing films of 2017 that were posted on the aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes.

Of the 19,559 reviews studied, 77.8% were by male critics and 22.2% were by female critics.

Brie Larson recently addressed the issue during an acceptance speech at an awards ceremony, when she elicited applause when she said she didn’t need “a white dude to tell me what didn’t work for him about [A] Wrinkle in Time.”

She added: “What I am saying is that if you make a movie that is a love letter to women of colour, there is an insanely low chance a woman of colour will have the chance to see your movie and review your movie.

“We need to be conscious of our bias and make sure that everyone is in the room.”

Asked if she saw the gender disparity in film criticism as a significant issue, Bullock added: “I don’t know but I would like to see if it is by balancing out the pool of critics so that it reflects the world we are in, like we are trying to reflect the world that I live in and my friends live in.

“It’s not just all men. 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.

“I don’t know, but let’s see, let’s try it.”

Ocean’s 8, which also stars Anne Hathaway, Rihanna, Sarah Paulson and Mindy Kaling, currently has a 67% fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Ocean’s 8 is released in UK cinemas on June 18.

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