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When ‘Captain Marvel’ Became a Target, the Rules Changed

In her speech, Ms. Larson also revealed that the Sundance and Toronto film festivals had each pledged to set aside one-fifth of their press passes for use by diverse journalists, including women and people of color.

Two and a half months later, Rotten Tomatoes threw in with Ms. Larson’s cause, and revamped its criteria for critics, focusing more on individual qualifications than the brand and reach of a publication, to include hundreds of reviewers from underrepresented groups in its Tomatometer score (a representative said the change had been in development for over a year). It also pledged $100,000 to various film festivals working to diversify their press corps, in part by helping cover freelancers’ travel and lodging costs.

A representative for Rotten Tomatoes, Dana Benson, said the change to its audience score had been in the works for a while, but that the attacks on “Captain Marvel” prompted them to roll it out earlier than planned.

“We’re very dedicated to making criticism more inclusive,” Ms. Benson said. “All the thought and care that went into the Tomatometer, we are expanding that to the audience score.”

Rotten Tomatoes said future changes could include having “verified” reviewers, like the ones who post on Amazon after purchasing a product. Those could come from people who bought tickets through Fandango, the movie ticket website, which owns Rotten Tomatoes.

There was, not unexpectedly, a flip side to the attacks on “Captain Marvel” — people rushing to its defense, whether they had seen the movie or not.

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