Here we go again.
The first reviews for director Ryan Coogler's "Black Panther" are out and they are very, very positive. But "Black Panther" is a Marvel movie, and many DC fans feel like critics are biased in favor of Marvel and against DC Comics movies. A group posted plans to take aim at all Marvel/Disney/Lucasfilm properties because of that perceived bias (among other gripes).
A Facebook group called Down With Disney's Treatment of Franchises and Its Fanboys announced plans to "Give Black Panther a Rotten Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes." The page is now gone -- Facebook removed it -- but here's what the organizer wrote (via TheWrap):
''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. 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!"
The same group used bots to keep the Audience Score for "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" low. The organizer, self-described as "alt-right," told Huffpost one of his chief complaints about "The Last Jedi" was its "feminist agenda" with female characters.
Before the page disappeared, more than 4,000 people said they were interested in joining the plan to rig the "Black Panther" RT Audience Score.
HuffPost asked director Ryan Coogler for his take on the sabotage plan. He hadn't heard of Down With Disney, and he didn't sound too worried:
"For me, I'm looking forward to everybody seeing the film. I'm really looking forward to sharing the film with audiences regardless of what their political views are ... that's kind of where I [stand on that]."
There's been an increasing divide between the reception by fans and the reviews by critics -- who write reviews for their individual publications, then post an overall "fresh" or "rotten" score to Rotten Tomatoes; Coogler also shared his thoughts on the debate about Rotten Tomatoes:
"It ... can be an oversimplification of what critics are saying about a movie. It's quicker to look at the consensus than it is to read the articles. But I'm a person who definitely respects film criticism and draws on it in the filmmaking process."
We can probably expect the "Black Panther" Rotten Tomatoes critical and audience scores to have at least some disparity. Then again, the previous Marvel movie to be released was "Thor: Ragnarok," whose Tomatometer and audience scores were very close.
"Black Panther" opens Friday, February 16.
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