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Rotten Tomatoes Adjusts Criteria to Include More Diverse Critics

Additionally, RT has set up a $100,000 grant program to help critics gain access to film festivals

Rotten Tomatoes is adjusting its critics criteria for its Tomatometer rating system, allowing for a wider and more diverse pool of critics.

The Tomatometer represents the collective opinion of thousands of approved critics and shows the percentage of positive reviews for a film or TV show. The new criteria will focus more on the critic’s individual credentials instead of their publication or employer.

Moreover, the Tomatometer will not only include written reviews but will expand to include newer media platforms, which will include podcasts and digital video series. Media platforms with a strong social media presence or engagement will be considered.

Two hundred newly-approved critics have been added as part of Tuesday’s rollout, and Rotten Tomatoes anticipates adding hundreds more post-launch. Critics can apply to become Tomatometer-approved on the Rotten Tomatoes site — all critics go through an approval process. New critics will be highlighted on the Tomatometer Critics home page.

“Over the past few years, our team has added hundreds of new voices to the Tomatometer on top of the thousands we currently have, with the goal of creating a critics pool that closely reflects the global entertainment audience,” said Jenny Jediny, Rotten Tomatoes critics relations manager. “We took another key step today by revamping our critics criteria that both shifts our focus to approving critics individually rather than through publications, and introduces updated guidelines for newer media platforms to be a part of the Tomatometer.”

Added Paul Yanover, president of Rotten Tomatoes’ parent company. Fandango: “Rotten Tomatoes plays an important role in connecting fans with trusted information and recommendations on what to watch in theaters and at home. Advancing inclusion in criticism continues to be a priority for Rotten Tomatoes and we plan to expand our work with media outlets that hire critics, film festivals and other groups, so as an industry we can better serve consumers.”

Rotten Tomatoes has also set up a $100,000 grant program to help critics gain access to film festivals — the first grant of $25,000 will be given to the American Friends of TIFF fun for the Toronto International Film Festival, which will take place from Sept. 6 to Sept. 16.