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‘Black Panther’ Director on Anti-Disney Sabotage Plan: I Welcome Fans ‘Regardless of… Political Views’

Ryan Coogler asked about scheme to ruin his movie’s Rotten Tomatoes audience score

“Black Panther” director Ryan Coogler has responded to an Anti-Disney, Anti-Marvel, alt-right-leaning group that was angling to sabotage the upcoming superhero flick’s Rotten Tomatoes audience score.

“For me, I’m looking forward to everybody seeing the film,” Coogler said in an interview with the Huffington Post. “I’m really looking forward to sharing the film with audiences regardless of what their political views are … that’s kind of where I [stand on that].”

When Coogler was asked about his thoughts on Rotten Tomatoes ratings in general, he added, “It … can be an oversimplification of what critics are saying about a movie. It’s quicker to look at the consensus than it is to read the articles. But I’m a person who definitely respects film criticism and draws on it in the filmmaking process.”

Facebook has removed the anti-“Black Panther” page for violating its “community standards” on Friday, a move that occurred after Coogler’s HuffPo interview.

Facebook did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment on whether the banishment is permanent or on the exact details of the violation.

The group, dubbed “Down With Disney’s Treatment of Franchises and its Fanboys,” had set up an event — “Give Black Panther a Rotten Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes” — with nearly 4,000 members ready to trash “Black Panther” sight unseen.

Wrote the event creator: “Given the massive success of the audience review rigging on the Rotten Tomatoes site for ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi,’ and due to the sudden rise in those disgruntled with Disney business practices among other factors especially due to the corporate manipulations which created falsified bad press for the DCEU, I feel that it’s time to strike back at all those under Disney and bring down the house of mouse’s actions for paying off the critics that hurt DC Comics on film and for other parties affected by them.”

A spokesperson for Rotten Tomatoes told TheWrap on Thursday: “We at Rotten Tomatoes are proud to have become a platform for passionate fans to debate and discuss entertainment and we take that responsibility seriously. While we respect our fans’ diverse opinions, we do not condone hate speech. Our team of security, network and social experts continue to closely monitor our platforms  and any users who engage in such activities will be blocked from our site and their comments removed as quickly as possible.”

The Ryan Coogler film, reuniting the director with “Creed” star Michael B. Jordan, is set to hit theaters on Feb. 16.