Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

The covert plan to tank Black Panther's Rotten Tomatoes score is not going well

Screenshot: Black Panther
Screenshot: Black Panther

Marvel’s upcoming Black Panther not only broke the ticket presale record for literally all superhero movies, but has also been a top daily ticket seller on Fandango. Not bad for a movie that doesn’t come out for two weeks. Ah, but not everybody is excited about the movie’s upcoming release. Who wouldn’t be excited for what looks to be a fun, wild action flick from an acclaimed director and reliable studio, you ask? Surprise! It’s fanboys.

A Facebook group with the extremely good name Down With Disney’s Treatment Of Franchises And Its Fanboys is rallying the web’s unwashed to flood Black Panther’s Rotten Tomatoes page with bad reviews and spread spoilers around to the Marvel fans in their life, which we’re sure will get them invited to lots of parties. The group, which identifies as “alt-right,” pulled a similar stunt on The Last Jedi late last year. They claim to be combatting the fictional scourge of “falsified bad press for the DCEU” and Disney’s supposed “paying off” of critics, but the group’s leader confirmed to Inverse that they’re also just super racist. By their estimation, casting black actors in a movie about a black superhero is Marvel’s attempt to “shove SJW messages down our throats.” They also say “minorities ... should stay that way.”


As such, Rotten Tomatoes was forced to release a statement clarifying that they “do not condone hate speech” and that they would block any offending users. Read it below:

“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 company said in a statement issued Thursday.

In a delightful turn of events, however, The Hollywood Reporter notes that the group’s Facebook page “was no longer available and appeared to have been deactivated” in the hours following the above statement. We’re sure they’ll all reconvene on Gab or wherever, but it’s nice to know their reach has been severely limited. Although, given the flood of interested in the movie, and even charitable souls hosting free screenings to bring even more people in, it’s not like, um, “DWDTOFAIF” was going to make much of an impact anyway.

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.

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