The DC Fans Petition To Shut Down Rotten Tomatoes Is A Blemish On Fandom

Yup, so we’ve reached that point in the narrative where fans overreact to critical reaction to a film they were looking forward to. It’s the internet. No surprise here, I suppose.

For those unaware of what’s been going on since yesterday, the embargo lifted for SUICIDE SQUAD, the third film in the DC Extended Universe, and reception has been largely negative, WHICH IS A STORY WE REPORTED EARLIER YESTERDAY. As of this writing, the film is sitting at 33% Rotten based on 78 reviews. That’s probably a third of the total critic pool out there who will ultimately submit their reviews, but the general consensus seems to have been set: SUICIDE SQUAD is a jumbled mess narratively.

Assuming SUICIDE SQUAD settles within the range it’s currently sitting at, this will be the third DCEU film to get a Rotten ratting from critics, and DC certain fans aren’t too happy about it. So unhappy, are they, in fact, that they’ve created a petition at to have movie review site aggregate Rotten Tomatoes shut down. Here’s the reasoning as written on the petition:

“We need this site to be shut down because It’s Critics always give The DC Extended Universe movies unjust Bad Reviews, Like
1- Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice 2016
2- Suicide Squad 2016

and that Affects people’s opinion even if it’s a really great movies”

At a surface level, this seems ridiculous. Shutting down Rotten Tomatoes is silly enough, but it’s even more ridiculous that they think they could accomplish this with a petition.

They later clarified their petition:

“Second A Clarification : A petition definitely won’t shut down the site
The aim of the petition is to deliver a message to the critics that there is a lot of people disagree with their reviews.
A lot of people the supporters and the opponents of the petition act like we are already going right now to shut down the site
not it’s just a way to express our anger”

Okay, fine. I suppose that’s a bit more reasonable, but still doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. But before I get into those, here are a couple disclaimers:

First off, I myself haven’t seen SUICIDE SQUAD. It’s been one of my most anticipated films of the year up to this point, and I still plan on seeing the film opening night tomorrow, critical reception be damned. As such, however, I can’t speak to whether or not the movie has been unjustly criticized (though you can hear our own Kellvin Chavez’s opinions on the film HERE).

Secondly, I understand this petition does not represent most DC fans, but a select subset of super-fans. So please don’t feel like this is an attack on all DC fandom.

Okay, fanboys, let’s talk.

I understand that fans are looking forward to this film. I get it. I’ve been excited for this one since the Comic-Con trailer dropped last year. But how in the world can these fans sign a petition saying critics have been unjustly reviewing the film when the film hasn’t come out yet to the general public? I guarantee almost no one who signed the thing has seen the flick, and this is blind fanboyism at its worst, and it’s the kind of thing that needs to stop. I understand how much of a betrayal it can be to see your heroes (or anti-heroes) get torn apart on screen, but you can’t be blind. Granted, you’re more than welcome to enjoy the film for what it is, that’s fine. But you cannot judge a film without seeing it.

While I love fans, one of the biggest turn-offs to me is the insecurity inherent in some fans. They feel the need to be constantly validated of the quality of the media they consume. 

Stop it.

All it does is play into the negative stereotypes — stereotypes that I’d hope we’d past since superheroes became mainstream entertainment.

Now we can dig into another flaw in this petition.

Sorry, but Rotten Tomatoes doesn’t actually review movies. All it does is aggregate the reviews of those they’ve deemed as credible critics. So, even if they were to shut down the site, the reviews would still be out there. So, to those who’ve signed the petition: you’re accomplishing nothing. All you’d be doing is making it a little bit harder to get a consensus on the films you want to see.

Now this next part will likely be difficult for some to hear, but here it goes. If you let a percentage on Rotten Tomatoes affect your opinion on a film: you are weak. Now, let me clarify. If you’re the type of person who reads the reviews and then decides a film isn’t worth their time, then fine. That makes sense. That’s what the site is there for: to help moviegoers decide what movies are worth their time. In this age of media overload, it’s something that’s desperately needed in order to capitalize on what little free time we have to consume things we enjoy. 

But no fans should let a review affect their enjoyment of the film.

At the end of the day, an opinion is an opinion, and these critics have their own, they just have a platform on which to stand. Let them stand. Read their reviews (or don’t). Make your own call on whether or not to see the film, and make your own call on whether or not you enjoy the film. One could argue that the point of this petition is to make sure that neutral fans don’t have their opinions altered prior to seeing the film, but I feel that the entire subtext of this is that these fanboys just want their own opinions and hopes validated.

The age where we need the validation of others to enjoy what we like needs to stop. Let’s just enjoy what we enjoy, and stop worrying about everyone else?

What do you make of this whole thing? Am I missing the entire point of the petition, or does this type of behavior just need to stop? Let us know your thoughts in the comments down below!

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Joseph Jammer Medina

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and contributor at LRM Online. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.

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