Surprise, surprise: Most film critics are white and male, study finds

Hollywood's need to make the film industry more inclusive extends beyond the silver screen itself, to the reviewers of movies as well.

After all, they're the ones determining Rotten Tomatoes scores and swaying viewers' preferences (and more importantly, their ticket purchasing choices).

It honestly comes as no shock at all then that these film critics are, on the whole, mostly white and male.

Researchers from USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism found that men wrote 77.8 percent of the nearly 20,000 reviews on the top 100 films of 2017. Only 22.2 percent of these film reviews were by women. 

A staggering 82 percent of the reviewers were white. Just 18 percent of film critics in the report were from non-white backgrounds.

As well, at top publications the gap between film critics who were white and those who were people of colour widened to 88.8 percent and 11.2 percent, respectively.

Women of colour are especially underrepresented in the field of film criticism.

Female reviewers coming from non-white backgrounds made up 4.1 percent of the reviews sampled in the report.

That drops to just 2.5 percent when looking at top critics, putting the ratio of white male top critics to female top critics of colour at nearly 27 to one.

Commenting on this, the report's authors wrote, "The dearth of underrepresented women is startling in its own right, but more so when considering the invisibility of women and girls of colour on screen in film.

"We would expect that female reviewers from underrepresented backgrounds would be more likely to notice the absence or misrepresentation of women of colour on screen.

"Yet, the very critics who might be attuned to these issues rarely review films—even films with women of colour in leading roles."

If all of this is making you hot under the collar, you're not alone.

The team made recommendations that may help drive change, including a suggestion that sites show how many of their reviews were authored by people of colour, queer people, and other marginalised groups. 

This way, readers can see whether a film's rating is skewed by male and/or white voices.

One small way you can help combat this disappointing trend of underrepresentation is by supporting women of colour who are film reviewers as well.

Just to get you started, here are a few ladies whose incredible work you can support: Angelica Jade Bastién, Emily Yoshida, Valerie Complex, and Kristen Lopez (who's also outspoken on discrimination against disabled critics).