The fan anticipation rating for the superhero film starring Brie Larson has been dropping dramatically for the past two weeks.
Usually when a film as highly-anticipated as the next chapter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe nears its release, Rotten Tomatoes lights up, but trolls have already begun trashing "Captain Marvel," dropping it's rating to 63 percent before anyone has even seen it.
At least part of the online vitriol seems to stem from fans misunderstanding "Marvel" star Brie Larson's call for more inclusivity during press tours into an attack on white men overall.
While speaking with Marie Claire, Larson explained. "About a year ago, I started paying attention to what my press days looked like and the critics reviewing movies, and noticed it appeared to be overwhelmingly white male," she said.
And so her solution was to seek out more diverse people to talk to, as she had done in reaching out to this disabled reporter. "After speaking with you, the film critic Valerie Complex and a few other women of color, it sounded like across the board they weren't getting the same opportunities as others. When I talked to the facilities that weren't providing it, they all had different excuses."
Clearly Larson is merely looking to embrace and expand diversity in what sphere she might have influence and should be applauded for her efforts toward greater inclusion. But this is toxic fandom we're talking about.
Below are just a few examples of the kinds of comments that are dropping her RT scores and note that virtually none of these have anything to do with the content of the film, which is the point of the site. Instead they are largely attacks on Larson herself:
- "brie larson has already said this isnt for me.i'll spend my money elsewhere"
- "Search the lead actress Drew Doesn't want us going as a white male I won't go, Drew I hope your move is good without me" (one troll responding to another commenter who said they were excited about this next chapter)
- "Larson has made it clear...men need not attend this movie."
- "I somehow feel that Skull are not the enemy, but that I am, since Brie Larsen has been careful to state she doesn't want the Press Tour to include types like me."
- "Not interested in supporting Brie Larson's agenda."
- "Tired of all this SJW nonsense"
- "Marvel Execs are all ready bragging that Captain Marvel is "the most powerful hero" in the Marvel universe. This pretty much guarantees that she is going to be a total Mary Sue. Disney has all ready killed the Star Wars movie franchise. This looks like it will be the fist nail in the MCU coffin. Not interested in seeing another SJW propaganda film. Hopefully Captain Marvel doesn't take down Avengers 4 with it."
- "as a white male i dont think Brie would want me watching this movie"
- "Terrible movie hate it already!!!!!!"
There were some voices of reason in the comments, trying to understand what was going on, but they are being drowned out by the growing number of troll comments:
- "Why are people already rating it before it came out. I am sure it will be great"
- "So many are trying to judge it, before they've seen it. OK thank you internet."
- "Hey you,right-wing manchildren, stop crying!"
As you scan through the comments, sorted by when they were posted to the site, it's clear that the ratio of negative to positive comments has shifted dramatically in the past two weeks, and that it has nothing to do with the film itself. Is this just people misunderstanding and getting upset about Larson's interview comments, which were published on February 7? Or is it something more sinister?
Is it a coordinated attack to try and trash the film enough to hurt it commercially as trolls attempted to take down "Star Wars: The Last Jedi." ? In that case, it was clear there was a racist and misogynistic angle to the hatred after fans targeted actress Kelly Marie Tran directly with their nastiness, much like Leslie Jones was singled out for abuse when trolls decided they didn't want an all-female reboot of "Ghostbusters."
This is the first female-led superhero film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and while it's too early to see if that's the problem for many of these so-called fans, it's not hard to imagine that it's at least part of the problem now that Larson has used this platform -- and her status as a not-white-male -- to make a statement on inclusion, diversity and representation.
Clearly this stance is a threat to a lot of these white male "fans," as many of them clearly identified themselves, but why? Where is the personal attack against them?
And where is the part where she said that white men are not welcome? Is it because she said that women and people of color are also welcome? Is that where the problem lies, white men don't want to share?
No matter their motivation, any efforts to slow the film are likely to be about as successful as the efforts to stop "The Last Jedi." "Captain Marvel" is on track to bust $100 million in its opening weekend.
And while that's a far cry from "Black Panther" or the "Avengers" films, it's a fantastic opening by another other standard, including those for the other lesser-known character films of the MCU.
"Captain Marvel" hits theaters on March 8, meaning the next two weeks could prove to be very telling as more people add their voices to the noise.
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