Reporter Cara Buckley admired the movie review-aggregating website Rotten Tomatoes for riding to the rescue of outspoken feminist actress Brie Larson, star of the latest Marvel Studios comic-book hero mega-hit Captain Marvel, in a big article on the front of The New York Times Arts section Thursday: “When She Became The Target, The Rules Changed -- After attacks on ‘Captain Marvel’ and Brie Larson, Rotten Tomatoes altered its audience participation parameters.”
The article was an amusing example of how avidly the ostensibly anti-capitalist left will defend a multi-billion dollar capitalist enterprise (Marvel Studios and its ongoing myriad-film superhero saga) when the right (“troll”) enemies are lined up on the other side. “Captain Marvel” made $455 million worldwide on its opening weekend alone (click “expand”):
One audience reviewer deemed the movie “a complete disaster.” Another was “tired of all this SJW nonsense,” using the abbreviation for “social justice warrior,” a pejorative term for progressives. Yet another groused that Brie Larson, the movie’s star, “says I shouldn’t see the movie anyway.”
“Captain Marvel” had not even been released yet -- its opening day was a month away -- but that did not stop negative remarks from piling up against the film and Ms. Larson.
Much as Facebook and Twitter have had to grapple with false stories aimed at inciting violence or disrupting elections, movie review aggregators like Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb are often besieged by users trying to manipulate a film’s box office success.
Despite the trolls’ concerted efforts, “Captain Marvel” slayed during its opening weekend, but not before Rotten Tomatoes, an influential site where a bad audience score can damage a film’s prospects, made major changes to its rules. Most critically, it eliminated prerelease audience reviews....
Buckley at least located the source of ire aginst Larson (click “expand”):
“Captain Marvel” is among the few superhero films to star a woman, but a bigger trigger factor for the film’s haters appeared to be Ms. Larson’s outspokenness about the lack of diversity in movies and news media coverage of films.
Before the film’s release, Ms. Larson told “Entertainment Tonight” that she had spoken with Marvel about making the film “a big feminist movie."...
Ms. Larson, who won the best-actress Oscar in 2016 for her performance in “Room,” had previously lashed out against the homogeneity of professional film critics. “I do not need a 40-year-old white dude to tell me what didn’t work for him about ‘A Wrinkle in Time,’” she said during a speech last summer. “It wasn’t made for him.”
This all provided fodder to trolls, and weeks ahead of “Captain Marvel’s” release, the percentage of Rotten Tomatoes users who registered that they wanted to see it plummeted to 27 percent....
Check out Buckley’s “established sources” and “reliable information” (i.e. other liberal media outlets), which will presumably give you the honest truth about Brie Larson and her movie and are not at all influenced by intersectional feminism or mockery of conservatism:
The film’s opponents also swarmed YouTube; video rants with titles like “Brie Larson is Ruining Marvel” often appeared at the top of searches for her name. But a day before the film’s release, a change in the search results pushed those videos beneath others from established sources like Jimmy Kimmel, “Today” and Wired.
A YouTube representative said the reason was an algorithm change made last summer that reclassifies trending search topics as news. The site, which is owned by Google, took the action as part of its effort to combat fictitious content and ensure that reliable information was highlighted.
Did you hate the last Ghostbusters remake or Star Wars episode? Beware, you might get lumped in with the racist “alt-right”:
The new Marvel movie is not the first film to come under attack for a perceived feminist or politically correct underpinning. The all-female remake of “Ghostbusters,” “Black Panther” and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” which had a diverse cast, all found themselves in the cross hairs of armchair critics, some aligned with alt-right groups.
But after Buckley brags about “established” sources, she offered an apparent contradiction: "Brand and reach of a publication,” which sounds a lot like “established” publications, can sometimes be ignored in favor of “individual qualifications” in the name of diversity. But perhaps those “video rants” critical of Brie Larson have “individual qualifications” as well? Or does that convenient measure only apply to whom Rotten Tomatoes deems “underrepresented groups”:
Two and a half months later, Rotten Tomatoes threw in with Ms. Larson’s cause, and revamped its criteria for critics, focusing more on individual qualifications than the brand and reach of a publication, to include hundreds of reviewers from underrepresented groups in its Tomatometer score (a representative said the change had been in development for over a year).
Buckley shrugged off similar behavior on the other side.
There was, not unexpectedly, a flip side to the attacks on “Captain Marvel” -- people rushing to its defense, whether they had seen the movie or not.