Some claim that racism was causing a low rating of Disney's live-action reboot of The Little Mermaid. The Internet Movie Data Base (IMDB) site has a notification that they had to use a different weighting system in rating the title due to "unusual activity."
"Our rating mechanism has detected unusual voting activity on this title. To preserve the reliability of our rating system, an alternate weighting calculation has been applied," the notification reads.
The movie is currently the number one rated film on the site with a 7.0 out of 10 score. However, out of 43 thousand reviews 39.3 percent (17 thousand) give The Little Mermaid a 1 out of 10 for an unweighted score of 4.7.
According to The Times, after IMDB adjusted their rating system, one user wrote on Twitter, "If you went to see The Little Mermaid, please be sure to give it a review, your HONEST review. Racists are purposely giving it one-star reviews on IMDB in large numbers”.
The claim, however, did not reflect in the written reviews. The biggest complaints were about the low quality of the CGI, and how the users are tired of Disney remaking all their classic movies into live-action movies.
"The problem is NOT the color as many like to point out immediately when someone writes a bad review. The problem is that this does not work there is no soul," one user wrote. "The only redemption is that Ariel can actually sing. But that is that. They should have made this an animated feature like Smurf's Lost Village or Super Mario. Ariel could be green for all I care."
"Honestly for me, this was rough to get through. The acting/singing was fine and totally passable however the low budget CGI made the movie feel as if it would have been more successful had it just gone straight to Disney + instead of theatres," another said.
IMDB uses a weighted average rating system for all its movies. "The simplest way to explain it is that although we accept and consider all votes received by users, not all votes have the same impact (or ‘weight’) on the final rating," the page says.
"When unusual voting activity is detected, an alternate weighting calculation may be applied in order to preserve the reliability of our system. To ensure that our rating mechanism remains effective, we do not disclose the exact method used to generate the rating."
In comparison, The Little Mermaid currently has a 95 percent audience score and a 68 percent Tomatometer rating on the rival rating site Rotten Tomatoes.
There were complaints by some prior to the film's release that Disney "race swapped" the film's lead character Arielle after they chose actress Halle Bailey to play the famed mermaid. Other shows that made similar moves, such as the Netflix docuseries Cleopatra, have also not faired well in ratings.
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