The film industry is one of the most prominent fields in the entertainment business, if not the world. Many see films as an escape from reality, while others watch to gain knowledge. As movies are already heavily reviewed by critics all over the world, that personal experience of watching a film may shift due to bias and discriminatory reviews. To avoid irrational opinions and elevate diversity, TheCherrypicks considers movie reviews to be of importance to more variety, not just the viewers.
TheCherrypicks is a female-platform that aggregates reviews and original stories featuring women and non-binary writers. It all started before the Weinstein scandal and the #MeToo movement sky-rocketed. Founder and CEO of TheCherrypicks, Miranda Bailey says that as a woman in the entertainment business, she had been wanting to make more female movies with more female directors and whatnot.
“I worked on a movie “I Do But I Don’t” with Lake Bell, it was very specifically geared towards women,” Miranda said. “I was reading the reviews as a producer and the male reviews were very much like a Dad talking to a little girl, saying ‘She should’ve done this’ or ‘I’m disappointed in her’. Meanwhile, the women who wrote about it didn’t necessarily like it, but I felt like at least they got it. I was looking like, ‘Well, where’s the score? Where’s the female score? What’s the Metacritic or Rotten Tomatoes score of what all the women critics think?’ There was no way to find that. There still isn’t unless you go to TheCherrypicks.com.”
Female Empowerment In The Film Industry
If you look closely at most typical movie reviews, a majority of them are predominantly male. There are organizations and websites that have female critics, there is still a large percentage of reviews who are men.
“Before we started TheCherryPicks, the requirements Rotten Tomatoes had in order to be a top critic were so narrow that very few women or women of color fit the requirements,” Miranda said. “Mostly Caucasian men held the jobs as journalists at big papers form many years. This led to more than 70% of their top critics coming from that one perspective. That was not representative of the myriad of identities and cultures of audiences today.”
According to Miranda, did you know that as a woman, we consume more than half the media in the world? That is a lot more than expected. To showcase our side, TheCherrypicks collects all female reviews, as well as providing the option to become an official Cherrypicker as a critic.
“You don’t have to pay or join or anything like that – you just apply,” Miranda says. “Your work is there and you get to create a profile page. It has all of your reviews. We also use the pull quotes and highlight them from the official Cherrypickers. The score consists of women like Manohla Dargis and others. Let’s say you have a published review about a movie in Europe and you’re writing for the Dallas Morning News or whatever. As a critic, you’re probably in our sight on the pages. We aggregate reviews published by women or female-identifying for all films.”
TheCherrypicks features reviews from various publications, such as Hollywood Reporter, Vulture, W Magazine, Mashable, and more. Miranda says it’s a fun female website specifically for movies, and they are planning to launch other areas as well.
“That’s the goal right now, is to be able to grow and talk about movies, TV, music, VR, and video games,” Miranda says. “But again, we’re small and scrappy. My first concern was making sure that I paid the women a fair wage, the ones on staff, and the writers who write original articles. If people watch movies through our website and if they buy things from our affiliates in our newsletter or on our website in the green links, that gives us money to keep operating and paying female writers. Our audience and the traffic are growing so that allows us to tap into TV and other genres of entertainment.”
CherryChat is a relaxed and lively Instagram Live talk show, which grew from conversations with talent sharing their favorite film or show. Now, CherryChat has expanded to weekly programming, highlighting women in film from filmmakers, actors, to critics.
“Together, our host and guests discuss the power of film, how it has been a source a strength in their lives, especially right now,” Miranda says. “We share their go-to movie comfort picks, talk upcoming projects, and have a little fun along the way.”
How COVID-19 Is Affecting The Film Industry
As the COVID-19 pandemic is changing the world every day, Miranda sees the film industry coming out of it with great things.
“It is definitely obvious now that you do not need to have such strict restrictions on when a movie can be in a theater and when it can go to your home,” Miranda says. “People will see that spending, let’s say, $20 at their home is the same as they would spending it at the movie theater. I think that’s a great thing for Indie films because it’s been so hard for us to get theatrical when it comes to releases. The theaters will only take you if you agree to 90 days before you go on Video On Demand or DVD. That is expensive for distributors. Distributors weren’t buying movies for that and that was tough. Now, that will change.”
On the other hand, there may be more people going to the movies once they reopen for the idea of collectively experiencing a film together as an audience.
“You need to give something more than just like a screen because we have that at home,” Miranda says. “So places like Alamo Draft House, you can eat and drink there. As a filmmaker, you don’t want people walking in front of the screen during the scene, however, as an audience member, it’s great. These places that have more fun features are revamping the movie theater experience. I think everyone is going to need to start doing more Q&A’s. This includes the actors, directors, producers, and writers in almost every movie. We also need to start doing that all over regionally, not just in LA or New York. If they want to keep theaters open, they have to be able to show up, especially in live streams.”
Visit TheCherrypicks.com to start reading and discovering your new favorite female-based films. Be sure to also follow their social outlets below to keep up to date on their content: