How We Grade
The Mediaversity grade does NOT reflect the overall quality of a show or film. That’s what every other review site is for.
Instead, the Mediaversity Grade reflects how inclusive a show is and should be used as a tool to view media from a different perspective.
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.
To give some context to our reviews, we list the gender, ethnicity, nationality, and LGBTQ status of show/film creators and reviewers alike.
👩 = Female
👨 = Male
👩🏾👨🏾 = Black
👩🏽👨🏽 = Latinx, South Asian, or Mixed
👩🏻👨🏻 = East Asian
👩🏼👨🏼 = White
🌈 = LGBTQ (publicly)
We average the category scores to assign a grade:
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+ (3.30 - 3.59) — Chilling in that inoffensive groove.
C (3.20 - 3.29) — Diversity was not a priority.
C- (3.00 - 3.19) — I spy missteps.
D (2.00 - 2.99) — These creators don't see race.
F (1.00 - 1.99) — How was this even greenlit?
Read on to see how we score each category.
We didn't want to completely ignore traditional metrics of writing, direction, and production since strong work generally correlates with complex characters—necessary for strong representation. A 3/5 means the program was enjoyable, if forgettable.
Mediaversity references outside sources such as Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes to inform a less biased rating in this category.
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:
- Are there at least two female characters who have a conversation that isn’t about men? (Also known as the Bechdel Test.)
- Are women featured equally to men in terms of screen and speaking time?
- Are they represented as nuanced, three-dimensional characters?
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:
- Are different ethnic groups represented proportionately to their real-world setting?
- Are characters of color written as nuanced, three-dimensional characters?
A 3/5 in LGBTQ means queer culture was treated respectfully, whether or not through an actual LGBTQ character. This takes into the understanding that only 3.8% of adults self-reported as LGBTQ in 2015.* Even if we double that to account for younger people and those who refrained from answering the Gallup Poll, this is still a much smaller group than the above categories.
Questions we consider then scoring:
- Are LGBTQ characters represented proportionately to their real-world setting (roughly 1 to every 24 heterosexual characters)?
- Are LGBTQ characters written as nuanced, three-dimensional characters?
Note: We do not score this category for films since the amount of material being reviewed is too short to ding for lack of LGBTQ themes. Categories are marked “N/A” and do not count towards their final grade. When a film does discuss it, however, we assign either 5/5 points (generally for films with an LGBTQ focus) or bonus points (generally for films with other focuses).
Any media that sheds light on an underrepresented group will score points at Mediaversity, especially if they have suffered from onscreen stereotyping in the past. Themes that may score bonus points include representation of seniors or people living with disabilities.