Story at a glance

  • Review-bombers began publishing negative reviews of “Eternals” on IMDB in an effort to tank the film's ratings across the internet.
  • Some reviewers said the film was, “woke and mediocre.”
  • IMDB has since removed all negative reviews.

Marvel’s latest superhero movie, “The Eternals,” began receiving harsh criticism online for showcasing a same-sex couple in an effort to tank the films ratings across the internet before its been released.

Actor Haaz Sleiman, who came out as gay in 2017, plays character Ben in “Eternals” who is the husband of superhero Phastos. In the movie, Phastos is in a longtime relationship with another man on Earth, but is forced to leave his partner to rejoin the Eternals to take on the Deviants. 

The Direct first reported on review-bombers inundating the “Eternals” IMDB page over the film’s inclusion of LGBTQ characters and a kiss between Ben and Phastos. According to The Direct, one reviewer called the film, “woke and mediocre,” while another said the film was, “cheap even for [Marvel].” 

Fans began review-bombing “Eternals,” an internet phenomenon where people who have not yet seen the final product begin publishing negative reviews for a movie, TV show or videogame to worsen the average review of the product across the internet. 


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IMDB has since removed the negative reviews for “Eternals”, while Rotten Tomatoes, another movie review site, outright banned the ability for users to comment on a film before it’s been released. In 2019, Rotten Tomatoes product blog explained, “Unfortunately, we have seen an uptick in non-constructive input, sometimes bordering on trolling, which we believe is a disservice to our general readership. We have declined that turning off this feature for now is the best course of action.”

According to Insider, “Eternals” actor Kumail Nanjiani tweeted in response to The Direct’s reporting about review-bombers and said, “Looks like we’re upsetting the right people. Eternals opens November 5th.” The tweet was later deleted. 

“Eternals” also hosts the most diverse lineup of any Marvel movie, including not only a first openly gay family, but actors of many different ethnic backgrounds and the first deaf superhero. 

This also isn’t Marvel’s first attempt at diversifying its films; an openly gay character was included in “Avengers: Endgame,” and the star character of “Loki,” a series on Disney Plus, is bisexual.

“Eternals” will be released nationwide on Nov. 5. 


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Published on Nov 01, 2021