11:48am PT by Ryan Parker
'Black Panther' Cast Addresses Banned Facebook Group That Targeted Film
The cast of Black Panther is not worried about a now-defunct online group who sought to sandbag the film with negative buzz — they just think it's sad.
Talking to the Associated Press on Friday, star Chadwick Boseman said he does not read reviews in general, but he was made aware of a Facebook group attempting to flood Rotten Tomatoes with poor audience scores. (Facebook has banned the group.)
"I definitely thought about it, and I think you don't really know how big of an impact that's going to be," he said. "So whatever they do online doesn't really matter."
Rotten Tomatoes spoke out against the the group and Facebook intervened, deactivating the group page earlier this month.
The group went by the name "Down with Disney's Treatment of Franchises and its Fanboys," and made unsubstantiated claims that somehow the studio manipulated press to generate negative coverage of Warner Bros.' DC films.
"We at Rotten Tomatoes are proud to have become a platform for passionate fans to debate and discuss entertainment and we take that responsibility seriously. While we respect our fans' diverse opinions, we do not condone hate speech. Our team of security, network and social experts continue to closely monitor our platforms and any users who engage in such activities will be blocked from our site and their comments removed as quickly as possible," Rotten Tomatoes said in a statement.
Boseman's co-stars Letitia Wright and Daniel Kaluuya also talked to the AP about the hateful group.
"Shame on them," Wright said. "Everybody is just focused forward. Those people are at the back."
Directed by Ryan Coogler, Black Panther also stars Lupita Nyong'o, Michael B. Jordan, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker and Andy Serkis.
The film opens Feb. 16.