Honestly, who knew there were so many militant DC fans in the world? First it was DC and Zack Snyder fans who staged a protest outside of Warner Bros. offices to demand a full “Zack Snyder” cut of the critically and audience-derided Justice League. Now, those same passionate (some would say “crazy”) fans are up to it again, creating a Facebook group with the express purpose of lowering the Rotten Tomatoes audience score for Black Panther en masse. Their reasoning: An apparent perception of critical favoritism toward Marvel’s MCU series, in comparison with DC’s own DCU movies such as Batman v. Superman and Justice League. Have these folks ever stopped to consider that maybe Marvel has just put out a far superior product to date, with the possible exception of Wonder Woman?
“Given the massive success of the audience review rigging on the Rotten Tomatoes site for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and due to the sudden rise in those disgruntled with Disney business practices among other factors especially due to the corporate manipulations which created falsified bad press for the DCEU, I feel that it’s time to strike back at all those under Disney and bring down the house of mouse’s actions for paying off the critics that hurt DC Comics on film and for other parties affected by them,” wrote the event creator on Facebook in one hell of a run-on sentence. “I’ll be making events like this for Infinity War and the Netflix shows etc so we can rally together to truly make a difference…If you want to spread spoilers to Marvel fanboys, use this event as a platform to inform us of targets!”
So, to recap: A DC fan got angry that critics didn’t like Justice League as much as they liked Thor: Ragnarok, and decided that organized vote brigading was the best way to handle the situation. The same group has also taken responsibility for the low audience ratings on The Last Jedi, although the polarizing nature of that film must have been a factor as well. Rotten Tomatoes has now commented on the situation, saying the following to The Wrap:
“We at Rotten Tomatoes are proud to have become a platform for passionate fans to debate and discuss entertainment and we take that responsibility seriously. While we respect our fans’ diverse opinions, we do not condone hate speech. Our team of security, network and social experts continue to closely monitor our platforms and any users who engage in such activities will be blocked from our site and their comments removed as quickly as possible.”
The choice of words is certainly a little odd. Hate speech? By the Facebook group’s own admission, their beef is with Disney and a perceived unfairness by critics toward DC properties, rather than any kind of racially motivated attack upon Black Panther.
HOWEVER … looking into things a bit more deeply, there may indeed be some very shady characters involved. Huffington Post messaged the Facebook group directly, and reportedly spoke with an administrator about The Last Jedi, during which the admin, a self-described alt-right group member, said some pretty despicable stuff. Among other things, he called Poe Dameron “a victim of the anti-mansplaining movement,” and said Poe and Luke Skywalker were in danger “of being turned gay, and that men should be reinstated as rulers of society.”
So there you go. Is it a shock to anyone to find out that people who care way too much about a movie’s audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes also harbor some other ideas that are pretty messed up?