UPDATE: Feb. 2 at 7:17 pm
The “Down with Disney’s Treatment of Franchises and Its Fanboys” has officially been deleted by Facebook, Movie Web reports. Despite this action, (former) group members have not relayed that they will stop in their goal. We will report more as it happens.
Despite the anticipation and what is sure to be one of the largest pre-sale for tickets to a Marvel film, there are some groups that have spoken out via Facebook in an effort to sabotage the upcoming Black Panther.
The group, which calls itself fans of DC, even went so far as to create their own anti-group called “Give Black Panther a Rotten Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes.” The much-used site and internet authority on movie quality, Rotten Tomatoes, has a system in place where anyone can boost or tear down a film’s reputation for success. Thus far, close to two thousand people believe that Disney allegedly sunk the review scores for DCEU films and supposedly destroyed any possibly complimentary press, according to Comic Book.
The Huffington Post also reports that the group’s drive to take down Black Panther is aligned with a mindset far beyond that of just regular disgruntled DC fans. Housed on Facebook and moderated by an alt-right member, the people call themselves members of something known as “Down with Disney’s Treatment of Franchises and Its Fanboys.” As of now, our research has indicated that the group is unavailable to be seen anymore.
Fans from the aforementioned alt-right group also allegedly say they have used bots in order to create fake accounts with the intention of rigging the Rotten Tomatoes score of the newest movie from a galaxy far, far away. The reasoning? Its engagement with feminism (which is ironic, as many feminists decried the representation of women in the film, as well as the lack of intersectional advocacy, especially in the case of Amilyn Holdo and Poe Dameron) and the belief of some audiences that Dameron and Luke Skywalker are members of the LGBTQ+ community. The alt-right group, then, essentially places their targets on even hints of diversity.
Additionally, it’s important to address how insidious it is that a group, especially one with alt-right motivations, wish to discredit a movie as seminal as Black Panther, which (finally!) does justice to black audiences, allowing them to see themselves represented onscreen in a big-budget film with a multitude of rich and varied characters.
Notably, Rotten Tomatoes denies the claims of bots influencing scores in a statement. They also decry the alt-right group and promise to carefully monitor all scores and to block everyone who tries to sabotage the film in that respect, saying that they “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.”
As of now, the community has yet to affect the ticket sales for the Wakandan hero and only time will tell as the February 16th release date gets closer. Thus far, Black Panther has already surpassed all others superhero movies in pre-release sales so it’ll be hard to say if the group will succeed in ruining the film.