Men don’t only dominate the popular culture that’s released, they also play a major part in how we interpret and react to that culture. Film critics are generally white and male, and they often play a significant role in deciding whether a movie is worth our time and attention.
But a new site, CherryPicks, aims to offer a new perspective by only featuring works by female critics, giving audiences an alternative to sites such as Rotten Tomatoes. Founded by Miranda Bailey (The Squid and the Whale, Diary of a Teenage Girl), an actor and producer, and author and entrepreneur Rebecca Odes (gurl.com, wifey.tv), the site aims to become the leading voice for the female perspective on media.
“The timing is perfect, “ said Odes. “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.”
CherryPicks will also have its own rating scale, which is below:
Bowl of Cherries: Great. Must see.
Pair of Cherries: Good. Recommended.
Single Cherry: Mixed. You might like it, you might not.
The Pits: Self-explanatory.
The site will also have a system called the CherryCheck, 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.”
“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 site will launch this month with Cherry Bites, an email subscription service which will highlight female viewpoints on film criticism and media. Later this year, CherryPicks will also launch its multi-platform site which will include original content such as podcasts, reviews, Top 10 lists, and interviews with women who work in the industry.