Rotten Tomatoes has responded to the possibility of a group of fans meddling with Black Panther‘s audience score on their site. Marvel Studios has officially opened their 10th anniversary year as the Ryan Coogler-directed project begins promoting the flick due in just two weeks. Starring Chadwick Boseman as the titular character, the film boasts a stellar ensemble cast and an interesting premise, two key elements for a successful blockbuster.
Earlier this week, just after the Los Angeles premiere of Black Panther, a Facebook group went viral after they blatantly announced that they are planning to rig the film’s Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score and even tired recruiting people who want to help them. The reason? It’s their retaliation against Disney and the site for its allegedly unfair treatment of DC films, which have mostly gotten Rotten grades bar the smashing hit, Wonder Woman. Perhaps the threat was nothing but empty words, but considering the controversy with Star Wars: The Last Jedi back in December, Rotten Tomatoes has decided to come out with a statement.
In a report by THR, the review aggregated site released a presser addressing people’s worries about the matter. Folks at Rotten Tomatoes vow to maintain a healthy and safe environment for movie fans to interact and voice their opinions. They also promise that those who will be caught not abiding the law will be removed from their site.
“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.”
Hopefully, the group’s diligence doesn’t stop with just the upcoming Marvel flick as the administrator of the group shares that they also plan to launch similar actions against other upcoming Disney blockbusters such as Avengers: Infinity War and Solo: A Star Wars Story, both coming in just a couple months. While we’re uncertain if the sabotaging ploy against such a well-praised film like Black Panther will actually work (right now, the Facebook group is already gone), it’s best that the site keep their security up not just for the sake of the film’s score, but most importantly, their reputation as one of the leading review aggregating places out there. Granted that their process is already inherently flawed, people still flock to their domain to check out the information that they put out. Knowing that their scores can be easily tampered with by an anonymous faction doesn’t necessarily make them look good.
While it’s still best to see a film and come up with our own opinion about it, it’s still unfair that such controversy will dampen the electric and positive mood surrounding the Coogler-directed film. Black Panther means so much to a lot of people and could potentially change the landscape not just in the superhero genre, but in terms of proper representation in Hollywood. Similar to the social effect that Wonder Woman brought to the table when it came out last year, the upcoming blockbuster is expected to create a ripple effect when it comes to racial awareness.
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