Rotten Tomatoes Celebrates 5-Year Anniversary of Critics Outreach and Grant Program - AmNews Curtain Raiser


Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Rotten Tomatoes Celebrates 5-Year Anniversary of Critics Outreach and Grant Program

Rotten Tomatoes Celebrates 5-Year Anniversary of Critics Outreach and Grant Program

Entertainment fans' beloved source for movie, TV, and streaming recommendations, Rotten Tomatoes, is marking a significant milestone as it celebrates the five-year anniversary of its Critics Outreach and Grant Program. Launched in 2018, this initiative has been dedicated to enhancing representation in entertainment criticism by welcoming more diverse voices into its Tomatometer critics pool. The program's efforts span beyond just inclusion, extending to essential contributions to film festival inclusion initiatives, mentoring programs, scholarships, and more.

To commemorate this achievement, Rotten Tomatoes is renewing its commitment with a $25,000 donation to the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) Media Inclusion Initiative. This initiative offers financial support to accredited press members from underrepresented backgrounds, helping them attend the festival. Since its inception, Rotten Tomatoes has contributed over $100,000 to the TIFF Media Inclusion Initiative.

"Our unwavering commitment to serving entertainment enthusiasts globally has driven our efforts to enhance representation among entertainment critics over the last five years," shared Jenny Jediny, Director of Critic Engagement at Rotten Tomatoes. "In addition to amplifying diverse perspectives across our platforms, we've championed scholarships, mentoring initiatives, and film festival press inclusion programs. Our collaborations with various organizations have united us in the mission of fostering an inclusive environment for current and future critics."

In 2023, Rotten Tomatoes has established collaborations with three vital organizations dedicated to advancing diversity and representation in entertainment criticism. The partnership with GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics supports the Crimson Honors Scholarship, aiding LGBTQIA+ women and nonbinary students of color. Additionally, Rotten Tomatoes teamed up with Gold House for the Futures Accelerator: Journalism mentorship program, aimed at Asian and Pacific Islander (API) journalists and critics. The involvement with The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) includes sponsorship support for their 2023 Arts & Entertainment Media Institute.

"Thanks to Rotten Tomatoes' generous support, we have been able to nurture and fund emerging voices among critics through our Crimson Honors College Critics awards," stated Walt Hickey, President of GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics. The collaboration has greatly empowered LGBTQ+ critics.

Christine Yi, General Manager of Gold House Futures, expressed excitement about the partnership, emphasizing its role in equipping diverse writers to interpret and critique narratives that reflect Asian representation in the entertainment space.

Since its inception, Rotten Tomatoes has made remarkable strides in transforming the landscape of entertainment criticism. With an expanded Tomatometer critics criteria, including freelance, self-published critics, and voices from newer media platforms, Rotten Tomatoes has significantly broadened its critics' representation. Currently, their Tomatometer-approved critics pool includes over 3500 active critics, with more than 1,000 added since 2018. Among these, 66% hail from underrepresented groups, 50% are women, and 24% are people of color.

Beyond bolstering representation, Rotten Tomatoes has generously donated over $600,000 to a range of film festival inclusion initiatives, scholarships, and mentorship opportunities. These partnerships have made a substantial impact across events like TIFF, Sundance, and more.

In addition to its role as a trusted aggregator of reviews, Rotten Tomatoes offers a wealth of original content through its 24/7 FAST channel and YouTube Network, catering to entertainment enthusiasts across platforms.

 #RepresentationMatters #DiverseVoices #EntertainmentCritics


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