The Oscar award-winning actress advocated for more diversity during a speech given at Wednesday night’s Women in Film Crystal + Lucy Awards in Los Angeles by citing data from USC’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative. According to the study, in 2017, only 2.5% of top critics were women of color, while 80% of film critics who reviewed the year’s top box-office movies were male. To highlight her point, Larson referenced A Wrinkle in Time‘s critical reception.
“I don’t need a 40-year-old white dude to tell me what didn’t work about A Wrinkle in Time,” Larson said. “It wasn’t made for him! I want to know what it meant to women of color, biracial women, to teen women of color.”
Larson elaborated on this point, saying that it wasn’t about excluding white men, but including those who have historically been marginalized.
“Am I saying I hate white dudes? No, I am not. What I am saying is if you make a movie that is a love letter to women of color, there is an insanely low chance a woman of color will have a chance to see your movie, and review your movie.”
Larson, a vocal advocate of the Time’s Up initiative to end marginalization and inequality in the workplace, followed up by stressing the power that a good review can have on not only someone’s career, but the kind of art that an be made.
“It really sucks that reviews matter – but reviews matter,” she said. “Good reviews out of festivals give small, independent films a fighting chance to be bought and seen. Good reviews help films gross money, good reviews slingshot films into awards contenders. A good review can change your life. It changed mine.”
Larson’s call for inclusivity earned her a co-sign from Wrinkle in Time director Ava DuVernay.