These days, a movie's Rotten Tomatoes score is just as important as any individual review.
The website, which aggregates reviews from critics and audiences and scores the movie based on what percentage of people liked and disliked the film, has, for better or worse, become an industry standard way to judge a movie's quality.
Except, of course, when "fans" decide to tank a movie's score to make a political statement.
Toxic fanbases, often young, White male movie-goers, have recently made a habit out of downvoting movies they haven't even seen yet.
Because they want movies starring women or people of color to fail.
Looks like they're already attacking the Rotten Tomatoes score for Episode IX, which dropped 5% in a day. If you wa… https://t.co/9cLAaEbUlx— Bryan Young (@Bryan Young)1551115951.0
Upcoming movies like Star Wars: Episode IX and Captain Marvel, which haven't been seen by any members of the general public yet, have become the latest targets of these trolls.
They who spam the movie's account with negative reviews for a movie they have never seen.
They've been doing the same thing to Captain Marvel and I honestly don't get it. So, go express your excitement for… https://t.co/a5quOeIbon— Bryan Young (@Bryan Young)1551116075.0
Many of the negative reviews, intended to leave the movie with a bad Rotten Tomatoes score so less people will see it, are generated by bots.
@swankmotron This is my favorite negative review of Episode IX from Rotten Tomatoes. It says so much. https://t.co/SUGvc8b9Rm— Perspicassidy (@Perspicassidy)1551116472.0
People online have long been calling for Rotten Tomatoes to change its system so that audiences can't vote on the quality of movies they haven't seen yet.
My. Gosh. THE MOVIE DOES NOT EVEN HAVE A TITLE YET!! I feel this is honestly an issue with @RottenTomatoes. There s… https://t.co/pNHXUXXlZO— Chase Dunnette (@Chase Dunnette)1551188311.0
Finally, on February 25, they did just that.
@ChaseDunnette @RottenTomatoes @Fandango Rotten Tomatoes killed the pre-score metric yesterday! Now if they could k… https://t.co/yZV0ImcGzh— Bryan Young (@Bryan Young)1551188441.0
🚨 #CaptainMarvel is expected to open with a spectacular $100 million next month, but it only has a 28% on… https://t.co/iCAPlRZD73— LAT Entertainment (@LAT Entertainment)1551209318.0
Rotten Tomatoes will now be making some major changes to keep out trolls.
@Lindazilla @RottenTomatoes Basically, Rotten Tomatoes instituted a new policy where users can't leave reviews for… https://t.co/7jIKWxZyka— Jonathan Barkan (@Jonathan Barkan)1551215058.0
"What else are we doing? We are disabling the comment function prior to a movie’s release date. Unfortunately, we h… https://t.co/eBl48U7Li9— zyntrax (@zyntrax)1551200532.0
Of course, there's always more work to be done, but this is a great step!
This is a good start to fixing Rotten Tomatoes’ broken “audience score.” https://t.co/7eSnGLx0Nt https://t.co/qjtSPJtD7k— Sonny Bunch (@Sonny Bunch)1551209391.0
There is, however, still more Rotten Tomatoes could do. https://t.co/435D6x5QUZ https://t.co/cdOwWS5P5q— Sonny Bunch (@Sonny Bunch)1551209393.0
The "fans" who downvote movies long before they premier are often young men who don't believe franchises they love should have entries starring women or people of color.
About time. @RottenTomatoes Bans Fan Reviews for Unreleased Films “It helps de-platform the trolls who are only… https://t.co/B4XAuakkkr— Martin Hajovsky (@Martin Hajovsky)1551214055.0
This is a long time coming @RottenTomatoes - most all the films that get trolled are about women. As the motto goes… https://t.co/4E3J6VGHuH— Melissa Silverstein (@Melissa Silverstein)1551211512.0
Fans were overjoyed at the change!
Thrilled to hear it. Great move on the part of @RottenTomatoes. https://t.co/QIqaOAcopT— Geek Girl Diva (@Geek Girl Diva)1551214807.0
im gonna see this movie so hard i dont even care if it somehow gets a negative score on rotten tomatoes LETS DO THIS— Kevin Rutherford (@Kevin Rutherford)1551208438.0
There were, however, some people online who thought the trolls blindly tanking a movie's reviews had a right to do so.
@StarWarsINTRVWS @swankmotron @ChaseDunnette @RottenTomatoes @Fandango rotten tomatoes loses credibility when they… https://t.co/EbbhVkZ96V— Steve J Markham (@Steve J Markham)1551199706.0
Most people seemed to agree that those people were wrong and were probably the ones tanking movies starring people who don't look like them.
@lpproject99 @StarWarsINTRVWS @ChaseDunnette @RottenTomatoes @Fandango No, I think they realize that opinions from… https://t.co/18fA3JMGod— Bryan Young (@Bryan Young)1551199757.0
Because having an all White male cast is OK, but adding women or people of color means "political correctness" and "agendas."
@swankmotron @StarWarsINTRVWS @ChaseDunnette @RottenTomatoes @Fandango I don't believe that it's bots just people w… https://t.co/p7HuRjgbO4— Steve J Markham (@Steve J Markham)1551204796.0
Many Twitter users had a problem with Rotten Tomato's grading metric even under the best of circumstances.
Real talk: I don't care what Rotten Tomatoes users think of a movie even AFTER they've seen it. https://t.co/ADmVlTA15K— Eric D. Snider (@Eric D. Snider)1551207223.0
With this change to their system, Rotten Tomatoes is setting a wild precedent: only people who have seen a movie should be allowed to review it!
Crazy stuff, huh?
Well done, Rotten Tomatoes.