March 15th, 2019
(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: firstname.lastname@example.org
In February, as Captain Marvel’s first pre-release screenings were held for press, the movie became the subject of several negative user reviews posted to the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes by people who hadn’t even seen it, blasting Larson’s performance and trashing the movie itself. Although, to call their assessments “reviews” is generous, as they primarily complained about Larson for being sexist against men, expressing anger that seemed to stem from Larson being vocal about the lack of diversity in Hollywood and among film critics.
Larson didn’t back down, and during the press tour for the movie has spoken about how important feminism and diversity are to her, and how they are intrinsic to her character’s story.
The focused backlash against Captain Marvel wasn’t a random occurrence. Previously, trolls had mobilized online against Star Wars: The Last Jedi, harassing its cast and denouncing the movie for being too progressive. Movies like Black Panther and the 2016 all-women remake of Ghostbusters saw similar attacks (harassment of actors, fake negative reviews, etc.) too.
A brief look at the movies that have been targeted by trolls in the last few years makes it easy to see that this kind of backlash consistently erupts when women and non-white characters are at the center of Marvel Studios superhero flicks or other cinematic franchises with long, less-diverse histories.