To reflect more diverse opinions, Rotten Tomatoes recently changed the guidelines for how it adds critics to its site, and will start including podcast and video reviews toward the Tomatometer scores. The company cites a change in the media landscape for its push to add new voices to the site.
Rotten Tomatoes launched in 2000, at a time when people were still consuming media via television, radio, newspapers and magazines. In 2004, IGN bought the site but sold it to Flixster in 2010. In 2011, Warner Bros. purchased the site, but by 2016, Fandango owned it. Rotten Tomatoes' unique Tomatometer aggregate score takes a look at movie reviews from multiple critics (all approved by the site) and uses that to give moviegoers a percentage of how many reviewers liked or didn't like a film. Throughout its history, it remains the go-to place on the Internet for moviegoers who want to check out a film's reviews before seeing that film in theaters. Rotten Tomatoes offers reviews for TV shows, too.
Throughout its long history, Rotten Tomatoes has never made any real changes to how it approves critics, at least until now. Rotten Tomatoes announced that it was adding new critics to increase diversity in the reviews that it posts, as well as to provide more variety for its movie and TV ratings. The company stated that this change is a reflection of the times when people consume media in ways that they did not when the site first launched in 2000. The company also seeks to bolster critics' voices who come from underrepresented groups.
"In revamping our Critics Criteria, we sought to bring the criteria into better alignment with the way media works today, to promote the inclusion of more voices that reflect the varied groups of people who consume entertainment, and to maintain the high standards we’ve always set for inclusion in the group of Tomatometer-approved critics."
Rotten Tomatoes has already added hundreds of new critics to its site and plans on adding more with its new approval criteria. This move should affect movies' ratings on the site going forward, offering a more accurate depiction of what people are saying about movies and TV shows outside of traditional media.
Although moviegoers still look to Rotten Tomatoes for its reviews, it hasn't been without controversy over the last several years. Suicide Squad fans threatened to take the site down over the film's bad reviews. There was also some controversy when the site decided to delay scores for Justice League.
Some moviegoers believe the reviewers that appear on the site are out of touch with today's film audiences. This becomes evident when looking at some films where critics' scores and audience scores are drastically different. These new changes could include voices that reflect a wider movie audiences' opinions and provide a more accurate critic rating.
Source: Rotten Tomatoes