Looking for More Diversity In Your Next Binge-Watch? This Website Can Help

K.C. Bailey/Netflix
K.C. Bailey/Netflix

Hollywood is notorious for telling the stories of white men at the expense of just about everyone else. Despite research that says movies that cast more women and minority actors are actually more profitable than less diverse media options, studies have found that the majority of Hollywood jobs—both in movies and on television—still go to straight, white males.

On the audience side, there is strong demand for diversity in movies and TV. Despite UCLA sociologist Darnell Hunt's contention that “Audiences prefer content that looks like America,” truly diverse storytelling is still a relatively rare find. That’s where Mediaversity comes in. As Motherboard reports, the website rates on-screen entertainment according to how it depicts racial, sexual, and gender diversity—or if it represents it at all.

The site, founded by New York City visual designer Li Lai, looks at the gender, ethnicity, and nationality of a show or film’s creators, as well as if they’re LGBTQ. It grades each piece of entertainment on an A+ to F scale, looking at the quality of the work, the gender breakdown of the characters and their screen time, how people of color are presented, and how queer culture is treated. The reviewers also award bonus points if a film or show highlights a particularly underrepresented group, like seniors or people with disabilities, in a thoughtful way. But while the ratings do cover overall quality, the site is grading with an eye toward the diversity metrics, not toward the kind of reviewing Rotten Tomatoes does.

Mediaversity's homepage shows recent television reviews.
Screenshot via Mediaversity

Your high school’s grade inflation does not apply here: a piece of media doesn’t need straight As to be considered good. An A+ film is “some woke shit,” while a C is “chilling in that inoffensive groove.” A B+ means the creators “nailed it,” even if it didn’t shine in every single category. If a TV show gets an F, meanwhile, that means the reviewer questions how a studio even greenlit the project in the first place.

The reviews tend to be straightforward, giving you a sense of what you’re in for immediately. “Neo Yokio is so obviously a male work with an unapologetic male gaze,” one reviewer wrote. The show gets a D. “The writers of The Good Place prove that you can create ridiculous, exaggerated characters without ever having to reach for flat characterizations or stereotype,” wrote another reviewer of the NBC series, which received an A- rating from the site.

If you’re looking for a new show to watch, you could do worse than scan Mediaversity first, checking out which shows might actually paint a realistic portrait of the world you live in, and which will only present you with the same tired stereotypes.

[h/t Motherboard]

Possible Star Wars: Episode IX Leak Predicts a Traitor Within the First Order

Lucasfilm
Lucasfilm

by Natalie Zamora

A rumored leak circulating the internet recently is a fresh take on most theories for the upcoming Star Wars: Episode IX, as it has nothing to do with Rey's true ​parentage, how Luke Skywalker will ​come back, or Poe Dameron's ​sexuality. Instead, this new bit of possibly real information is about the First Order.

An unknown source has revealed to ​​Express.co.uk that there is a traitor within the First Order, as part of the Episode IX storyline will involve Kylo Ren trying to find a mole in his team, after becoming suspicious someone is giving out information to the Resistance.

This plot point "will have a cat and mouse element to it, similar to Revenge of the Sith where the Jedi were trying to find out who the Sith lord is—which turned out to be Palpatine.”

Domhnall Gleeson in Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi (2017)
Lucasfilm

The report also references a different leak from May 2018, which claimed General Hux would be a mole inside the First Order. This wouldn't be too surprising, as Kylo and Hux have had quite the rivalry since The Force Awakens. Both parties competed to be Supreme Leader Snoke's favorite, and now with Snoke gone, the relationship between the two men should be interesting. It wouldn't be hard to see Hux turning on Kylo.

However, Hux obviously despises the Resistance. Would he help them just to betray someone who has more power than him? It might be more believable to think he would find other ways to steal the power away
from Kylo rather than disturbing the First Order. Hux wants to defeat both Kylo and the Resistance, and we don't see him compromising.

This is an interesting "leak" to keep in mind as we get more details about Episode IX, however. At the moment, we really don't have much information about the final film in the Skywalker Saga, so any rumors are worth exploring.

Star Wars: Episode IX hits theaters December 20, 2019.

LeBron James Enlists Black Panther Director Ryan Coogler to Produce Space Jam Sequel

Pascal Le Segretain, Getty Images
Pascal Le Segretain, Getty Images

by Dana Samuel

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Black Panther director Ryan Coogler is teaming up with LeBron James to finally make a Space Jam sequel. The original, released in 1996, starred Michael Jordan, with cameos from other NBA stars and characters from Looney Tunes; it grossed more than $250 million worldwide (making it the highest-grossing basketball movie of all time, according to THR).

THR reports that the film is reportedly going to begin production in 2019, during the NBA off-season; Coogler will be the producer of the sequel and Random Acts of Flyness creator Terence Nance will direct.

Coogler's work on Black Panther was not only groundbreaking, but the film broke several box office records and it has become the highest grossing film by a black director.

James is a huge Black Panther fan. “I loved his vision," he told THR, "so for Ryan to be able to bring that to kids, it’s amazing. ... The Space Jam collaboration is so much more than just me and the Looney Tunes getting together and doing this movie ... I'd just love for kids to understand how empowered they can feel and how empowered they can be if they don't just give up on their dreams. And I think Ryan did that for a lot of people.”

This project has been highly anticipated for years, and we have our fingers crossed for more details to be revealed soon.

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