Racism is Alive and Well As Rotten Tomatoes Fights Back Against Black Panther Trolls

White Nationalists Take Aim Against Black Panther

Marvel’s Black Panther is set for release in just a couple of weeks. Backed by a bangin’ soundtrack from Kendrick Lamar, the movie is tracking to be a hit. Marvel has done nothing but continually put out quality, so there’s no reason to think this is going to disrupt the trend. Sadly, there is currently a movement by a despicable minority that wants to see the movie fail.

The Black Panther Featured

The anticipated film with Marvel’s first with a nearly all-black cast has already set a Fandango record for ticket pre-sales. The early group that saw the film at the Los Angeles premiere earlier this week has tweeted its praises. Unfortunately, there’s also backlash lurking. A collection of white nationalist trolls have announced, via Facebook, that they’re determined to plague the film with negative ratings on Rotten Tomatoes, in order to bring down its overall audience score.

What they likely didn’t anticipate is that the review aggregating site plans to fight back. Rotten Tomatoes released a statement against a Facebook group called Down with Disney’s Treatment of Franchises and Its Fanboys.The reported the following:

“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,” the statement reads, per T.H.R. “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 Facebook group claims that Disney is somehow responsible for the negative press surrounding D.C. films, and gained traction earlier this week by creating an event called “Give Black Panther a Rotten Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes.” It drew 3,700 participants, according to T.H.R. The group has since been deactivated.

This particular group is the same one that took credit for bringing down Star Wars: The Last Jedi’s audience score. Back in December, HuffPost contacted the moderator of the group, who said he identifies as a member of the white nationalist “alt-right” movement, and wanted to bring down The Last Jedi for a plethora of reasons: Oscar Isaac’s character Poe Dameron is a “victim of the anti-mansplaining movement;” he feared Poe and Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) might “turn” gay; and he thinks men need to be re-established as rulers of “society.” He was also upset that more female characters had been added to the franchise.

It’s not surprising, then, that this hateful group would set its sights on Black Panther. A film with a majority black cast that also features a dazzling array of female characters. But considering how quickly both Facebook and Rotten Tomatoes reacted against the group this time, don’t expect to see Black Panther’s ratings take too hard of a hit.

What do you think? Are you going to see the movie?