Responding to the older, white male bias of most film criticism, CherryPicks aims to highlight the voices of women critics.
There is a noticeable demographic bent when it comes to the critics RottenTomatoes uses to aggregate its critical consensus on movies. The voices represented tend to be male (and white). A new website, CherryPicks, is looking to counteract that, launching as a place that aggregates the opinions of women critics specifically. Announced at SXSW, it aims to serve as a place for women to go to see what other women think of movies.
CherryPicks is being launched by producer Miranda Bailey (The Squid and the Whale, Diary of a Teenage Girl) and entrepreneur Rebecca Odes (gurl.com; wifey.tv) and is described in the press release as “a system that more accurately represents the range of critical and audience opinion, along with high-quality content from both established and new critical female voices.”
“For years now, our industry has been proclaiming that we need change to include more minorities and females on both sides of the camera,” said Bailey. “This would be impossible to do in a speedy fashion, unless we can change the perceived desires of consumers. How can we possibly change what consumers consider good and worthy content if the majority of critics who tell them what to want are predominately older white males? I’m hoping CherryPicks will prove that female artists, crew, and stories are valuable for our industry to invest in, thereby influencing Hollywood to move towards equality in a more timely fashion.”
The website launches this month with Cherry Bites, an email subscription that will highlight women perspectives before launching its full-on website later this year. Like RottenTomatoes, CherryPicks will have its own rating system. It will consist of four tiers: Bowl of Cherries (Great. Must see.), Pair of Cherries (Good. Recommended.), Single Cherry (Mixed. You might like it, you might not.), and The Pits (Self-explanatory.)
In addition to its aggregated ratings function, CherryPicks will also do a “CherryCheck” on movies, which will “offer easy access to information relevant to women as media consumers, using the female lens, expanding on The Bechdel test to evaluate films according to on- and off-screen gender representation, and other content considerations relevant to women.” The site will also include original content in the form of podcasts, reviews, Top 10 lists, and interviews.
“Our goal with CherryPicks is to become the leading brand for the female perspective on media,” said Odes. “The timing is perfect. The male-dominated culture of Hollywood has reached a breaking point. It’s time to start building the Hollywood of the future—one that recognizes the multi-tiered problem of gender bias—and correct it every step of the way.”