Facebook and the movie reviews aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes have come down strongly against a group of disgruntled people who were plotting to rig the Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score for the upcoming Disney-Marvel release Black Panther.
The group called itself “Down with Disney’s Treatment of Franchises and its Fanboys” and created an event page on Facebook called “Give Black Panther a Rotten Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes.”
According to the group’s manifesto shared on Facebook, the participants had come together to attack Disney’s alleged business practices such as paying off film critics to drown rival company DC’s superhero movies, the most recent being Zack Snyder’s 2017 film Justice League.
The downvoting was scheduled to begin on February 15 and continue till February 24. Black Panther is scheduled to release on February 16.
In a statement issued on February 1, Rotten Tomatoes stated that while it was open to receive diverse views from its fans, it did not support hate speech.
“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 statement read.
The group’s Facebook page has since been deactivated.
“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 [DC Extended Universe], 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,” the group wrote.
The group also had Disney-Marvel’s next release in 2018, Avengers: Infinity War, and Marvel’s Netflix productions on their hitlist.
Black Panther is the second film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe after Blade (1998) to feature a black superhero. Directed by Ryan Coogler, Black Panther stars Chadwick Boseman in the titular role. Michael B Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Martin Freeman, Forest Whitaker, Daniel Kaluuya, Angela Bassett and Andy Serkis play prominent roles in the film.