How We Grade

The Mediaversity grade does NOT just reflect the technical aspects of a show or film. Cinematography, writing, soundtrack, editing? That’s what every other review site is for. Instead, the Mediaversity grade reflects how inclusive a program is and should be used as a tool to view media within its broader social context. In fact, a program can be a critically acclaimed but if it isn’t inclusive, it will score low at Mediaversity. And if that bothers you, you’re probably in the wrong place.

Our scoring system prioritizes intersectionality. While deep, social impact for narrow groups is crucial in the ongoing fight for onscreen representation—think recent films Wonder Woman, Get Out, or Call Me By Your Name—culture blogs and editorials are already fantastic sources for those types of discussions. Instead, Mediaversity measures how well a TV show or film presents different and overlapping identities.


The Context

To give context, we list the gender, ethnicity, nationality, and LGBTQ status of show/film creators and reviewers alike.

👩 = Female

👩👨 = Nonbinary

👨 = Male

👩🏾👨🏾 = Black

👩🏽👨🏽 = Latinx, South Asian, Native, or Mixed

👩🏻👨🏻 = East Asian

👩🏼👨🏼 = White

🌈 = LGBTQ (publicly)


The Grade

To assign a grade, we add up the category scores, add or deduct bonus points if applicable, then divide by the number of categories—4 for TV shows, 3 for films. No grade inflation here; a C is average, a B is good, and As are only for the outstanding.

A+  (5.0) — This some woke shit.

A  (4.70 - 4.99) — Inclusive AF and damned well-made.

A-  (4.50 - 4.69) — Inclusive AF.

B+  (4.20 - 4.49) — Nailed it, just maybe not in all categories.

B  (4.00 - 4.19) — Great job, just maybe not in all categories.

B-  (3.60 - 3.99) — All we ask is that you try, and try you did.

C+  (3.40 - 3.59) — Chilling in that inoffensive groove.

C  (3.20 - 3.39) — Diversity was not a priority.

C-  (2.60 - 3.19) — I spy missteps.

D  (2.00 - 2.59) — These creators don't see race.

F  (1.00 - 1.99) — How was this greenlit?

 

Read on to see how we score each category.


Technical

A 3/5 in Technical means a show or film was enjoyable, if forgettable. This category reflects traditional metrics such as dialogue, soundtrack, cinematography, etc.

[Please note: reviews written before 2018 use the category title of "Quality" instead of "Technical", but content remains the same.]

Gender

A 3/5 in Gender means female characters were written respectfully but still had unequal screen time and/or complexity in comparison to the male characters.

Questions we consider when scoring:

    • Are there at least two female characters who have a conversation that isn’t about men? (Also known as the Bechdel Test.)
    • NUMBERS - Are women featured equally to men in terms of screen and speaking time?
    • DEPTH - Are they represented as nuanced, three-dimensional characters?
    • POSITIVITY - Do they fall into any stereotypes or tropes?

    Race

    A 3/5 in Race means people of color were written respectfully, but their characters were less complex than the white characters or were underrepresented.

    Questions we consider when scoring:

    • NUMBERS - Are different ethnic groups represented proportionately to their real-world setting? 
    • DEPTH - Are characters of color written as nuanced, three-dimensional characters? 
    • POSITIVITY - Do they fall into any stereotypes or tropes?

    LGBTQ

    This category is scored for TV shows only. For films that cover LGBTQ themes, we factor in inclusiveness through Bonus Points or Deductions.

    For TV, a 3/5 in LGBTQ means the culture was treated respectfully. No TV show can score higher than a 3.5/5 without the inclusion of an actual LGBTQ character.

    Questions we consider when scoring:

    • NUMBERS - Are LGBTQ characters represented proportionately to their real-world setting (at least 1 in every 25 characters)?
    • DEPTH - Are LGBTQ characters written as nuanced, three-dimensional characters?
    • POSITIVITY - Do they fall into any stereotypes or tropes?

    Bonus Points/Deductions

    Any media that sheds light on an underrepresented group will score points at Mediaversity, especially if they have suffered from onscreen marginalizing in the past. On the flipside, stereotypes will get deductions.

    Themes that may score bonus points or deductions include representation of disability, seniors, religion, or diverse body shapes.