The Rings of Power may have snow trolls, but in real life we’re stuck with internet trolls. From the start, a certain subset of Tolkien fans criticized the show’s diverse cast, prompting one of the show’s executive producers, Lindsey Weber, to hit back in defense, claiming, “Tolkien is for everyone.” Well, as The Hollywood Reporter reports , many fans unhappy with “The Rings of Power” have bombarded it on Rotten Tomatoes and other aggregation sites. Reviews have been suspended on Amazon itself, but not on Rotten Tomatoes or Amazon’s own IMDb.
Review bombing is when a large number of people, sometimes in a coordinated manner, leave negative reviews for a piece of media. These attacks often focus not on quality but on a perceived political agenda, and the practice is increasingly a problem for films and series that cast people of color, women, or people of different genders in leading roles. Recently, Forbes reported that “She-Hulk” was one such target.
While the bulk of the negative Rotten Tomatoes reviews primarily focused on issues with the show’s plot or world-building, The Hollywood Reporter noted that many review bombers focused on the racial identity of the cast, citing examples including one instance where a user wrote that the cast is that variety detracts from the story. “Nobody has a problem with seeing people of color in movies, shows or stories…but that story has already been written and shouldn’t have been sullied,” the reviewer wrote.
It remains to be seen when Amazon will resume user reviews for the series, but tempers tend to cool as a show progresses. Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is now streaming on Amazon Prime, with new episodes releasing every Thursday.