Since premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this month, Billy Eichner’s gay rom-com Bros has gotten generally favorable reviews, earning a 95 precent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on critics’ responses. But recently, homophobes have attempted to “review bomb” the film.
Touted as the first gay rom-com produced by a major studio and featuring a majority out cast, Bros doesn’t arrive in theaters until September 30. But users on IMDB who have not even seen in the film have been posting 1-star ratings, causing its rating on the site to drop to a 5.5/10 last week.
As Out reports, as of Friday, the film had 678 reviews on IMDB, 312 of which rated the film with 1 star.
The practice is known as “review bombing.” Trolls will often target films that center on minorities or women, posting negative reviews in the hopes that they can dissuade people from seeing the films, in turn, making studios less likely to produce more like them.
IMDB appears to have since scrubbed the 1-star reviews from the site. As of Monday morning, only three user reviews of Bros remain on the site, all of which are favorable.
On Friday, Eichner himself responded to the reports of the apparently bogus negative ratings. “FUCK ‘EM!!!” the film’s writer and star wrote in a tweet. “IF YOU’RE NOT A HOMOPHOBIC PIECE OF SHIT, GO SEE BROS!!!”
Oh but don’t go today. It’s not open yet. ONLY IN THEATERS ONE WEEK FROM TODAY!!!
— billy eichner (@billyeichner) September 23, 2022
LGBTQ Nation reached out to IMDB to comment on the situation, but the site did not respond.
Meanwhile, regardless of the reviews, Bros will not be screened in the Middle East. Variety reports that Universal is preemptively skipping any kind of release in the region, which is notorious for censoring films for depicting LGBTQ themes and content. A source cited “cultural and commercial reasons” for the decision.