Yesterday Matt Miller of Esquire wrote a blistering critique of right wing trolls and their efforts to diminish the popularity, and profitability, of genre movies and TV shows that contain progressive themes or focus on women and people of color.
“One of the more unpleasant phenomena of this modern era dominated by fantasy, sci-fi, and superhero franchises is the online underbelly of far-right trolls who have taken it upon themselves to destroy any progressive ideas in modern movies or TV shows,” Miller writes. “They’ve piled on Star Wars movies that have made an effort to cast more women and people of color. They’ve attacked black-led superhero movies like Black Panther. They’ve harassed women who are starring in Marvel movies. They do this with racist, misogynist comments, crybaby petitions, review bombing, and with hilariously bad YouTube videos directed at journalists who call them out.”
“So far,” Miller says, “efforts of far-right trolls have been a failure. These more inclusive stories are more popular – and lucrative than ever.”
The focus of the Esquire piece is on how alt.right trolls are targeting HBO’s new Watchmen series because of the show’s negative portrayal of the white supremacy movement.
After its first episode aired on HBO last Sunday, over 1,000 users flooded Rotten Tomatoes, and over 5,000 did the same to IMDB, to leave mostly one line negative reviews of the show that is getting high critical marks. On Rotten Tomatoes, the critics score sits at 98%, while the audience score is considerably lower.
“This type of audience/critic disparity is a pretty common occurrence with these types of highly anticipated comic adaptations, where man-babies will tank a series or film’s review aggregations, complaining about a perceived political agenda or efforts to have a more diverse cast.” Remarked Miller.
Like Batwoman, Star Wars, Captain Marvel, and other films and shows of late, a pretty regular theme is instantly noticed when perusing the user reviews of RT and IMDB. “A vast majority of these negative reviews were mad that the show is too political, that white supremacists have co-opted Rorschach’s mask, and that it discusses race.” Miller observed.
He concludes, “the only good thing about this review bombing is that (director) Lindelof entirely anticipated it from trolls. His series was made to piss people off.”
To read more of Matt Miller’s take on right wing trolls and his general take on the Watchmen show and the comic it was based on, head over to his original piece here.