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Earlier this month, a Facebook group run by a self-proclaimed white nationalist got shut down because its members were planning on decimating the audience score of the upcoming movie Black Panther — a highly anticipated film that features Marvel's first nearly all-black cast — on the review compilation website Rotten Tomatoes.
What you might not know is that the effort wasn't a standalone trolling attempt, but part of a larger anti-diversity movement led by cisgender, straight white men that's been threatening all sorts of media — that is, media that doesn't revolve around cisgender, straight white men.
The weird (and kind of hilarious) thing? No matter how often they try, these bigots' attempts to sabotage progressive films have always been wildly unsuccessful.
Take 2016's all-women reboot of Ghostbusters, for instance: Even before it was released in the U.S., people flooded its IMDB.com page with one-star ratings in an attempt to impair its success.
Oh — and by "people," I mean men.
"In total, 6,104 males have reviewed the movie on IMDB.com with an average rating of 3.5 out of 10, while 1,096 reviews from females average out to 7.5 out of 10," reported USA Today.
Spoiler alert: Their efforts were in vain. Ghostbusters wound up raking in nearly $229.1 million worldwide — well over its $144 million production budget.
Men tried the same thing with Wonder Woman in 2017, and even some professional male movie critics joined in on the sexist antics. The film wound up smashing box office records, bringing in $821.8 million worldwide.
And towards the end of last year, trolls openly admitted to "review-bombing" The Last Jedi with the help of bot accounts they'd made because it dared to feature strong women and people of color; it even had — *gasp* — women of color!
Guess what that did to The Last Jedi's success?
Not a damn thing: It made over $1.3 billion worldwide.
Back when the Ghostbusters ordeal was going on a couple years ago, Martha Lauzen of the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film had told USA Today that producers' willingness to take on female-led reboots could be affected by trolls' efforts.
“The prevailing attitudes held by studio executives regarding female-driven films are much more likely to influence the production of films in the future,” she had said at the time. “The mainstream film industry continues to discount female-driven films in spite of the fact that women comprise half of the movie-going audience, and that many films featuring female protagonists have performed well at the box office.”
But if producers are deterred from making diverse films merely because of these trolling attempts, then they're just not paying attention. If anything, news about this "review-bombing" of films featuring women and people of color is only encouraging those of us who are starved for representation to come out on opening weekend. (Exhibit A: Black Panther is expected to crush box office records.)
Why are these bigots even trying anymore, then? Beats me, to be honest — though if they want to keep wasting their time failing to sabotage good movies, that's fine by me.