The recent Rotten Tomatoes/The Acolyte ‘Controversy’ Illustrates How Easily Review-Bombers Can Be Misled & Fooled

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In recent weeks, Star Wars has faced intense scrutiny, particularly following the premiere of ‘The Acolyte.’ The show has been both heavily review-bombed and inflated with positive reviews on platforms like Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb. While some critiques are legitimate, much of the backlash appears to come from supposed “fans” who haven’t actually watched the show.

‘The Acolyte’ currently holds the dubious distinction of the lowest Rotten Tomatoes audience score in Star Wars franchise history, currently standing at 14%.

This score is derived from over 20,000 audience “reviews,” marking the highest volume in the franchise’s history. Recently, technical issues on Rotten Tomatoes’ site temporarily hid the score.

The cause of the glitch remains unknown, though such occurrences are common for regular users of the site. Quickly seizing the moment, vocal critics of ‘The Acolyte’ accused the site of censoring the show’s true score, despite the score becoming visible again within an hour.

Across platforms like X (formerly Twitter) and YouTube, opportunistic content creators swiftly capitalized on the “scandal,” producing a deluge of related content.

Take a look at these YouTube screenshots and notice how many views they garnered by exploiting the non-existent scandal. These are the least sensational examples I could find.

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So, why do I take issue with this? Why should any self-respecting fan have concerns?

It’s no secret that I’ve criticized ‘The Acolyte’ extensively in the past, addressing my reasons for why the show is lacking, which have nothing to do with alleged “wokeness.” However, I find this manufactured outrage to be incredibly detrimental to the legitimate criticisms the show deserves.

‘The Acolyte’ may not be particularly strong as a show, but its shortcomings have nothing to do with political correctness. Nonetheless, Headland recently stated in an interview that “review-bombers” aren’t taken seriously. I fear that genuine criticisms (which is rare) will be dismissed and unfairly categorized as mere “review-bombing.”

A burgeoning YouTube industry thrives on manufactured outrage, with many creators not even bothering to watch the show themselves (or so they assert). Daily, new videos surface reacting to nonexistent “woke” elements in ‘The Acolyte,’ accompanied by exaggerated thumbnails churned out by the thousands on platforms like Fiverr.

This trend is likely to backfire significantly because, as I mentioned earlier, genuine criticism is being overshadowed by these superficial videos designed solely to boost revenue for their creators. The lasting impact on the community could be substantial.

What are your thoughts on this? Share in the comments below!

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