Rotten Tomatoes silences trolls in wake of 'Captain Marvel' controversy

The film review website will no longer allow fans to post comments about movies that haven't hit the big screen yet

01 March 2019 - 18:26 By Sanet Oberholzer
Brie Larson meets a fan at the UK Gala screening for 'Captain Marvel'.
Brie Larson meets a fan at the UK Gala screening for 'Captain Marvel'.
Image: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Disney

In a move that can be described as debilitating to online trolls, film review website Rotten Tomatoes announced that it will be disabling its comment function and "want to see" percentage score for movies prior to their release date.

"Unfortunately, we have seen an uptick in nonconstructive input, sometimes bordering on trolling, which we believe is a disservice to our general readership," said Rotten Tomatoes.

This follows an upsurge in negative comments and "reviews" posted on the Captain Marvel Rotten Tomatoes page over the past few weeks — despite the fact that the movie has yet to hit cinemas.

Starring Brie Larson, Captain Marvel is the first female-led superhero movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). It's due to be released on March 8. 

CAPTAIN MARVEL CONTROVERSY

Larson made headlines in February after she told Marie Claire that movie press tours were attended by "overwhelmingly white male" film critics; the actress called for such events to be more inclusive. 

Her comments sparked a negative backlash.

Larson defended herself in a Fox 5 interview, saying: "What I’m looking for is to bring more seats up to the table. No one's getting their chair taken away. There are not fewer  seats at the table; there are just more seats at the table."

This interview elicited more negative comments such as "I'm white so I won't be watching" and "Pass. No thanks Disney. Get a hold of your insane progressive-left 'Talent'. They are ruining your movies."

WATCH | The trailer for 'Captain Marvel'

Antagonistic responses on the Captain Marvel audience review page on Rotten Tomatoes followed.

One review said "Tired of all this SJW nonsense".

Another read, "Not interested in seeing another SJW propaganda film. Hopefully Captain Marvel doesn't take down Avengers 4 with it."

SJW refers to a 'social justice warrior', a term used to describe an individual who promotes socially progressive views such feminism, civil rights, or multiculturalism.

Others defended the movie.

One fan posted, "This movie is going to be amazing! And there is nothing you misogynistic haters can do to stop CAPTAIN MARVEL and the CAROL CORPS to fly HIGHER, FURTHER and FASTER into the MCU! Prepare yourselves, losers, the STRONGEST HERO IN THE UNIVERSE is coming to kick your sexists butts!"

Captain Marvel isn’t the first movie that has been targeted by trolls online prior to its release. Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the all-female Ghostbusters reboot and Black Panther all suffered a similar fate. The move by Rotten Tomatoes will curb this to an extent.