Nearly two years ago, Meryl Streep took aim at Rotten Tomatoes, noting that the movie-review aggregator, which has become a powerful tool in how people choose what movies to see, saw women greatly outnumbered by men on the site.
“I submit to you that men and women are not the same, they like different things. Sometimes they like the same thing but sometimes their tastes diverge. If the Tomatometer is slighted so completely to one set of tastes, that drives box office in the United States, absolutely,” she said at the time. The comments spurred plenty of conversation about representation among movie writers, and that talk is likely going to come back to the fore, as Jessica Chastain is also calling out for more female voices among movie critics.
Speaking with The Guardian, Chastain echoed Streep’s sentiments, noting that there needs to be more champions for women’s stories on the big screen.
“There’s been so much discussion about the wage gap in all industries, about the fact that less 7% of filmmakers in Hollywood are women, but what people aren’t really talking about right now is critics,” she said. “Critics are the ones that suggest to an audience what stories are valuable and worthwhile, and when you have 90% of film critics as male, and perhaps not able to review a film from a gender neutral point of view, we need to understand we need more female critics to let women, and men, know that stories about women are just as interesting as stories about men.”
It’s an excellent point, and a diversity of voices writing about film that includes more women and people of color can only be a good thing for cinematic discourse. See Chastain’s comments below, and let us know what you think in the comments section.