Facebook removes alt-right anti-Black Panther film page

Social media site disables page calling for viewers to give first black-centric superhero film low ratings.

    Chadwick Boseman is seen in a scene from Black Panther, which will open in the US on February 16  [Marvel Studios/Disney/AP Images]
    Chadwick Boseman is seen in a scene from Black Panther, which will open in the US on February 16 [Marvel Studios/Disney/AP Images]

    Facebook has disabled a page connected to an alt-right group that had called for viewers to give the upcoming and much-anticipated Black Panther film a low rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

    The group, which calls itself "Down with Disney's Treatment of Franchises and Its Fanboys", sought to drive down ratings on the movie review website for Black Panther.

    The page, whose moderator described himself as "alt-right", had attracted support from almost 4,000 user accounts. The alt-right is a loosely knit coalition of white supremacists, white nationalists and neo-Nazis.

    But by Saturday, the page was inaccessible.

    The same group had taken credit sabotaging the Rotten Tomatoes rating for another Disney movie, The Last Jedi. Then, the moderator took issue with Star Wars producers introducing more female characters, saying one of the main male characters was "in danger of being turned gay".

    Featuring an all-star cast, Black Panther is the first black-centric superhero film from Marvel Studios, which in the last year has released box-office hits such as Thor: Ragnarok and Spider-Man: Homecoming.

    The film's director, Ryan Coogler, told the Huffington Post that he is looking forward to everyone seeing the film.

    "For me, I'm looking forward to sharing the film with audiences regardless of what their political views are … that's kind of where I [stand on that]."

    In a statement, a spokesperson for Rotten Tomatoes said: "While we respect our fans' diverse opinions, we do not condone hate speech."

    Director of the movie Ryan Coogler and cast member Lupita Nyong'o pose at the premiere of Black Panther in Los Angeles [File: Mario Anzuoni/Reuters]

    Black Panther has already broken a record by outselling every other superhero movie in advance ticket sales.

    The film will be in cinemas across the US on February 16.

    Chadwick Boseman, Michael B Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o, Daniel Kaluuya, Sterling K Brown, Forest Whitaker and Angela Bassett are among the film's stars.

    Here are some reactions to the film on social media: 

    This video, shared by several people including the rapper and actor Common, showed a group of children celebrating news they were going to see the film.

    @TailTheNerd was apparently shocked by the far-right attempt to discredit Black Panther, simply tweeting: "Wow ok."

    Clint Smith, a writer and teacher, said it was important that children of diverse backgrounds see themselves represented on screen.

    "I still don't think folks understand what the Black Panther movie will mean to young kids. That a kid will look on screen & see themselves as the hero (hell almost the whole cast!) of a superhero movie is such an incredibly powerful thing," he said.

    User @SeyiAyorinde replied to Smith, saying the film also had great meaning for adults. 

    Mars Blackmon said: "I want everyone who was a part of Black Panther to prosper. From the actors, cameramen, editor, costume designer, grips, etc. I want all of them to win after this movie shatters every record in history."

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera News


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