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From The Little Mermaid to Powers of the Ring: Hate-Fueled Review Bombing is the Price Americans Must Pay for Hollywood’s Globalized Market

Yahoo! News article about racist review bombing

Yahoo! News article about racist review bombing

Years ago, I had an argument with a troll who seemed to spend all his free time at the now defunct IMDB forums going from American IP to IP posting threads with tell-tale white nationalist and sexist memes about “diversity run amok”, “Mary Sues” and “forced feminism.” When he accidentally unveiled that he wasn’t from the United States (not Russia, believe it or not, but some other place), he wrote back that he had the right to troll forums, because America was trying to import multiculturalism to his country.

This brings me to the crisis facing Hollywood right now, involving so-called social media “backlashes” to IPs, ranging from uproar over multiracial casting in Powers of the Ring to Teela being made front and center in Kevin Smith’s He-Man: Masters of the Universe reboot. These backlashes are such that both Amazon and Rotten Tomatoes have had to start temporarily shutting down or deleting user reviews for IPs like this before release, due to the troll farming practice of review-bombing:

Yahoo! News article about racist review bombing

Yahoo! News article about racist review bombing

What is going on? I know what the lamestream media is telling you. It’s telling you that it’s oh, so evil, racist and sexist Americans who are driving these hate campaigns and how it’s all proof that Americans are hopelessly divided. However, I know for a fact that Americans have never, ever been the driving force behind the recent spate of racist and misogynistic backlashes against American IPs. What has been getting called “fan backlash” has always been driven by foreign national trolls, some of them at the behest of government-sanction disinformation programs, some at the behest of trouble making social media and YouTube influencers, and others just following their lead.

There isn’t even a question in my mind that this is what’s happening. Besides the most racist and misogynistic comments always being riddled with odd syntax, non-vernacular American English, Britishisms (colour, rubbish, etc.) and the occasional, “I’m so glad I don’t live in America”, I can’t tell you how many times forums and discussions I’ve been a part of have been completely invaded by people from overseas, even for IPs that they have very little familiarity with.

Not only are foreign national trolls deeply entrenched in any discussions or social media reactions having to do with American IPs, they apparently have been for years. The absurd lengths to which foreign nationals have been secretly entrenching themselves in American culture–and how long it’s been going on–is best exemplified by the following screenshots from Sitcoms Online: 

British foreign national asks who Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman are

British foreign national asks who Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman are

If you don’t know what you’re seeing above, Sitcoms Online is a forum dedicated to the discussion of classic American TV shows, many of which never made it overseas and therefore would be obscure to non-Americans. One of those sitcoms is Taxi.

In a thread titled, Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman are Back Together, one Sitcoms Online poster discussed an announcement about the couple being on the skids. Another poster–hailing from Manchester, UK–actually took the time to post in this forum, having no idea about the show or even who DeVito and Perlman were, asking, “Who are they? I don’t know them.” Curiously, according to the UK poster’s badge, he was suspended, and a quick look at his posting history shows that he spent a lot of time posting in the US politics section of Sitcoms Online.

I know what you’re thinking: this particular person was just a one-of-a-kind, rare exception. However, in the years of online discussions, arguments and flame wars in polarized discussions about American IPs, I can tell you point blank, without reservation, that foreign national trolls aren’t the exception but the norm. 

What is going on here? Believe it or not, not all of it has to do with the now famous so-called “disinformation farms” from Russia. It’s a problem that precedes Putinbots, and it stems from that dreaded word, “Globalism.”

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