When Brie Larson made comments about inclusivity in the press for her upcoming movie Captain Marvel, it caused a huge backlash. Then, much like Ghostbusters and Star Wars: The Last Jedi, fans hit Rotten Tomatoes and began "review-bombing" the film before it even hit theaters.
Rotten Tomatoes has since made a sweeping rule change on its site, removing the "Want to See" percentage score altogether. However, Fandango president Paul Yanover said the overhaul has nothing to do with Captain Marvel, specifically.
"(The changes) are not simply a reaction to, 'Oh, gee, there's some noise created around (certain movies),'" Yanover told CNET. Instead, he said that the changes were for "noise reduction" purposes in relation to high-profile films that attract "trolls with agendas."
The controversy with Captain Marvel began when Larson said she noticed the film critic landscape was "overwhelmingly white male," and that she wanted to make sure her press days were "more inclusive."
Larson later clarified that she wasn't saying white males shouldn't cover her movies, only that there should be more seats brought to the table to add more diversity. Nevertheless, it seems some angry fans didn't care what she meant and this caused a major uproar. When the most recent Captain Marvel film clip hit YouTube, the comments were flooded by people saying Larson didn't want white men to watch her movies.
Soon after, Rotten Tomatoes removed the "Want to See" percentage score and then disabled user comments on films until after they are released. Of course, while this will eliminate people bashing a film they have never seen before it comes out, it only delays the inevitable when they likely rush back to the site on the day Captain Marvel hits theaters.
Fandango, Rotten Tomatoes' parent company, also said it wants to find a way to verify comment authenticity, but that won't help Captain Marvel, which hits theaters in just over one week. Furthermore, Yanover noted that "expressing that you don't want to see a movie is not a review."
Directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck from a script they wrote with Liz Flahive, Carly Mensch, Meg LeFauve, Nicole Perlman and Geneva Robertson-Dworet, Captain Marvel stars Brie Larson as Carol Danvers, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Jude Law as Mar-Vell, Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson, Lee Pace as Ronan the Accuser, Djimon Hounsou as Korath the Pursuer, Gemma Chan as Minn-Erva, Ben Mendelsohn as Talos and Lashana Lynch as Maria Rambeau. The film arrives on March 8.