Male film critics still outnumber women, study finds

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The number of women criticizing feature films has declined in recent years as film criticism remains a man’s game, according to a new study.

The report, titled “Thumbs Down: Film Critics and Gender, and Why It Matters,” shows that as of early 2022, men continue to outnumber their female counterparts by more than 2 to 1 in the United States. In print, radio, television and online media. , men represent 69% of critics, women 31% and non-binaries 0.3%. After the percentage of women increased “slightly but steadily” from 2016 to 2020, the statistic has dropped by 4% in the past two years.

Since 2007, Dr. Martha Lauzen, executive director of the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University, has studied the representation and impact of women as critics of movies. The annual study analyzes more than 4,000 film reviews by 334 people working in print, broadcast and online media from January to March 2022.

This year’s takeaway is no different from last year: In every job category, media type and film genre, men’s voices remain more prominent than their female counterparts.

A closer look at the 2022 data reveals that men wrote 74% and women 26% of all reviews, down 8% from 2020. When it comes to the type of media these people work for , 76% of staff at posts, sites and stations were male, 23% were female, and 0.7% were non-binary. In terms of freelancers, 59% were male and 41% were female. Among the people who manage their own site, 71% are men and 29% women.

Through the annual study, Lauzen wants to shed light on the potential gender imbalance in film criticism. For example, the report inferred that, on average, female critics gave higher ratings to films featuring female protagonists compared to male critics. All the while, men have given higher ratings to movies with male leads compared to female reviews.

“This finding suggests that because male critics outnumber female critics and men are more likely to review films with male directors, these films get greater exposure in the marketplace,” Lauzen said.

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