Captain Marvel is now less than a week away and in the run-up to the film’s release, trolls have been increasing their efforts to let everyone know that they hate women. In the past few weeks, trolls have been spamming the review site Rotten Tomatoes with scores of negative comments and reviews, with many of them crossing the line into blatant misogyny and some comments even implicating violence against the film’s star, Brie Larson. Within days the film’s audience rating plummeted to the lowest score of any Marvel movie to date, even though the film isn’t even out yet.
Coincidently, Rotten Tomatoes announced in a blog post that it was rolling out several site-wide changes shortly after the review bombing. “We are disabling the comment function prior to a movie’s release date,” the post read. “Unfortunately, we have seen an uptick in non-constructive input, sometimes bordering on trolling, which we believe is a disservice to our general readership. We have decided that turning off this feature for now is the best course of action.” In a recent article, Paul Yanover, president of Fandango, which owns Rotten Tomatoes, said that the changes are not just a reaction to these trolls, and though the changes do address those problems, it’s all part of a long-term strategy. Even though the site had been planning these changes already, I can’t help but feel that the uptick mentioned in the blog post was the review bombing of Captain Marvel.
Trolls have been gunning for Captain Marvel basically since it was announced, and they’ve only gotten louder the closer the film comes to its release date. Not only are they going after the film, but they’re also targeting Brie Larson, more so since they spectacularly misunderstood Larson’s comments about wanting her press tour to be more inclusive. During the review bomb, one charming user wrote, “You could not pay me to see this SJW laden white male hating worthless POS movie. I am sick of this identity politics taking over pop culture. Brie Larson could get hit by a bus and I would not shed a tear.” It’s fine if you don’t want to watch the film if you think it looks bad or boring or whatever, that’s not the problem. The problem is wishing violence on the film’s star and spouting sexist garbage. If you don’t want to watch the movie, just don’t watch it and move on. Attacking a film and trying to tank its rating because the lead isn’t a man or has different views is, if nothing else, just pathetic.
Trolling is bad enough but the attacks on Captain Marvel have reached obsessive levels. Brie Larson YouTube searches are smothered with rants about how evil and terrible she is, defended by misrepresented information. These attacks are deeply rooted in misogyny. Brie Larson has been outspoken about her views and been actively advocating for gender and racial equality, but since she’s a woman, they see her as rising above her station. Other Marvel stars, like Mark Ruffalo and Chris Evans, are politically outspoken but haven’t been met with nearly the same amount of hateful attacks as Larson.
These trolls are screeching into the ether. Their attempts to tank the film’s rating on Rotten Tomatoes with negative comments will have no effect. They are a small but insufferably loud group who are taking increasingly pathetic means to try to make the film fail as the release date inches closer. Not only is Captain Marvel projected to make a boatload of money in its opening weekend, but early reactions from actual film critics and journalists are strong, and they’re praising the film. Some trolls are attempting to defend themselves by saying the film lacks a good story or has weak character depth or even that Larson is not a good enough actress. Considering the film isn’t even out yet, and Brie Larson is an academy award winning actress, their opinions are bullshit. It’s nothing but sexist trash dressed up as criticism. How anyone could look at Brie Larson inspiring young girls and view it as something wrong or evil is beyond me. Larson embodies Captain Marvel and I, for one, am hyped for this film.
Captain Marvel hits theaters March 8.
(Photo by Marvel Studios)