Is everyone entitled to an opinion? Fans of DC’s cinematic universe may not think so. On the heels of mixed reviews for David Ayer's Suicide Squad, which is due out on Friday, Abdullah Coldwater of Alexandria, Egypt has started a Change.org petition to have Rotten Tomatoes “shut down.”
In a brief explanation of his motives, Coldwater says that the critics featured on the site often give “unjust bad reviews” of DC adaptations, which “affects … opinion” of moviegoers. Coldwater acknowledges that the aggregate site is unlikely to shut itself down even if he meets the required 15,000 signatures that would enable Change.org to present the idea. Instead, he hopes the ensuing publicity will “deliver a message to the critics.”
While he didn’t go as far as assembling a petition, director David Cronenberg has voiced similar views about Rotten Tomatoes, which compiles critical reviews of films to arrive at ratings that are either “fresh” or “rotten,” depending on the group consensus. In 2014, Cronenberg told CBC News that the site makes little distinction between accomplished critics and those who are “quite stupid and ignorant.” The following year, actress Meryl Streep expressed concern that the site seemed to have an abundance of male contributors: Streep counted 760 men and just 168 women who were approved for the site's "Tomato Meter."
Coldwater's petition currently has more than 11,000 signatures; Suicide Squad is sitting at a 34 percent “rotten” rating.