Review trolls are nothing new, but since the expansion of already existing fandom universes has reached an all-time high, the trolls are extremely busy review bombing shows to make sure they experience failure and subsequent cancellation. The latest show to feel the wrath of review trolls is Amazon Prime Video‘s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, a series based on the works of J.R.R. Tolkien.
According to Variety, Amazon’s new 72-hour delay program started quietly around the time of A League of Their Own dropped its entire first season on Amazon Prime Video on August 12. Each review is vetted to make sure that the review itself is genuine and is an effort to avoid forgery created by a bot or trolls.
The Rings of Power was review bombed almost immediately after its two-episode premiere, and many of the “concerns” had to do with the cast being people of color taking on the roles of fantasy characters within the Lord of the Rings universe — such as elves, dwarves, harfoots, and other inhabitants of Middle-earth.
The issue of casting people of color in fantasy roles has been a topic of discussion for the past few years, spiking when the first teaser for the 2015 Star Wars: The Force Awakens dropped revealing John Boyega as a Stormtrooper. Star Wars fans threw a hissy fit, claiming that there couldn’t and shouldn’t be a Black Stormtrooper, despite the fact that we never actually saw the faces of the Stormtroopers in the original trilogy.
Similar to The Rings of Power, toxically obsessive Disney fans have taken issue with Halle Bailey being cast as Ariel in the live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid. The long-awaited teaser was shown at this year’s D23 Expo and featured a very short clip of Bailey singing the famous “Part of Your World”, showing audiences for the first time what she would look like in the upcoming film.
All of a sudden, people became literary geniuses and commented the “historical inaccuracy” in Bailey’s iteration of the Disney princess, and similar to Boyega’s situation, completely ignored that the original 1989 film deviated heavily from Danish author Hans Christian Anderson’s story due to the original being far too dark for children.
The recent complaints from review trolls have only been rooted in racism and have continued to prove why we need to not only diversify casts but also make room for more original stories involving marginalized faces.
However, the silver lining in all of this is that the diversity we are seeing in these cinematic universes is a reflection of the majority in the market right now and shows that people of color are the majority supporters of movies and television.
In related news, here’s how to spot fake reviews on Amazon.
Photo via Amazon Studios