IMDb’s New Rating Shines a Light on Female Representation in Movies

Hollywood hasn’t always done its share to foster diversity in films and television shows. However, with the diversity conversation closing in on the public conscience, we’re starting to see, however slowly, more stories from and about women, people of color, LGBTQ+ individuals, and people with disabilities (notably, we’ve seen an upswing in characters with disabilities played by actors with disabilities). It’s a huge culture shift that we’re seeing take way, and it’s awesome. For its part, IMDb is trying to highlight that shift by introducing its new rating system: F is for Female.

As Vulture reports, the website will now be adding F ratings for films that highlight women–both in front of and behind the camera. The rating system, developed by Bath Film Festival director Holly Tarquini will give films an F for being directed by women, written by women, and films that features women onscreen in significant roles. So films like Selma would receive an F for its director Ava DuVernay, Hidden Figures would get a double F for its amazing leading ladies and writer, and  Frozen a triple F rating for it’s female writer, director, and lead characters.

Of course, Tarquini’s ultimate goal is for her rating system to become irrelevant. As she explained to the Chronicle, “Our real goal is to reach the stage when the F rating is redundant because 50 percent of the stories we see onscreen are told by and about film’s unfairly underrepresented half of the population — women.”

With more and more stories coming out in cinemas and on the small screen featuring significant, complex female characters, hopefully the rating system will become redundant very soon. And while female representation is only a small segment of highlighting the stories of underrepresented communities, it is encouraging to see Hollywood take steps in the right direction.

What do you think of the rating system? Do you think it will help make films and television more diverse? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!

Featured image: 20th Century Fox

Image: A24

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