‘Little Mermaid’ alleged ‘review bombing’ promps rating system change by IMDb

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CNN
 —

The live-action remake of “The Little Mermaid” stirred strong reaction before production even began on the film, and that has continued since the movie’s debut in theaters last week.

Despite box office sales of more than $200 million worldwide to date, the film has allegedly been targeted by “review bombing,” where people are motivated – often by factors that have little to do with the actual film – to leave negative reviews online in an attempt to lower the rating.

Since its release last week, “The Little Mermaid” has attracted 43,000 user ratings on IMDb with an average score of 7 out of 10 stars.

That is consistent with the published reviews of the film, which stars actress Halle Bailey as the mermaid who longs to be human.

But IMDb posted a special note atop its rating scale for the movie.

“Our rating mechanism has detected unusual voting activity on this title,” it reads. “To preserve the reliability of our rating system, an alternate weighting calculation has been applied.”

There was backlash last year when it was announced that Bailey, who is Black, would portray the lead role, something many on social media are blaming for the negative reviews.

Past films, including 2016’s all-female remake of “Ghostbusters,” as well as the massive Marvel hit “Black Panther,” have also been the target of “review bombing” campaigns.

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