A Facebook group calling itself "Down with Disney’s Treatment of Franchises and its Fanboys" attempted to sabotage Marvel Studios' Black Panther this week by planning to post poor audience scores on Rotten Tomatoes. Facebook swiftly banned the group on grounds of blatant harassment, and Rotten Tomatoes has denounced the effort.
The campaign and some of its supporters apparently blame Disney for the poor critical reception of the DCEU, according to ComicBook.com. The group, writes THR, also claimed to have posted negative reviews for Star Wars: The Last Jedi in December.
In response to the group's apparent intentions and the news coverage being generated, Rotten Tomatoes released an official statement denouncing the effort:
"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" (via THR).
Despite any attempted sabotage, Black Panther is on track for a record-breaking debut, possibly making more than $150 million in its opening weekend alone. Moreover, the cultural and racial significance of the film is more than enough to drive audiences to theaters no matter what a group of irate and extremist fans might want to say.
“For me, I’m looking forward to everybody seeing the film,” the film's director, Ryan Coogler, told the Huffington Post. “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].”
Black Panther stars Chadwick Boseman in the titular role and claws its way into theaters February 16.
Rotten Tomatoes did not immediately respond to SYFY WIRE's request for comment.