On the Internet Movie Database (IMDb), users can rate films and series - for example for the current movie "The Little Mermaid". However, for this Disney remake, the site had to change the rating system.
Since May 2023, actress Halle Bailey has been flickering across screens as Arielle in the Disney live-action adaptation, trying to win the heart of Prince Eric (Jonah Hauer-King). As usual, moviegoers can rate the film online. One of the best-known sites is the Internet Movie Database, or "IMDb" for short. However, as has now been announced on the portal, the rating system for the film has been adjusted.
According to IMDb, "The Little Mermaid" became the latest target of "Review Bombing." This is a practice of flooding a production with negative reviews from users who have multiple accounts or use bots to create new accounts. The film has received nearly 41,000 user ratings on IMDb since its theatrical release. While the film received an average positive rating of 7.0, more than 39 percent of the ratings correspond to only one star.
IMDb takes action against "Review Bombing".
IMDb posted a notice on the remake's ratings page stating that "the site's ratings mechanism has detected unusual voting activity for this title." Now "an alternative weighting calculation was applied".
While the FAQ section of the portal doesn't explain how grades are calculated, it states that "not all votes have equal impact (or 'weight') on the final score. If unusual voting activity is detected, it can an alternative weighting calculation may be applied to maintain the reliability of our system."
Criticism before the cinema release because of the skin color of the leading actress
Even before the film was released, criticism of "Arielle" was pouring down. Many complained that Halle Bailey, a dark-skinned actress, embodied the cult figure. In the cartoon, the red-haired mermaid is white.
Last year, Bailey told Variety that she received a lot of support from her family when the hashtag "NotmyAriel" started making the rounds. Her grandparents, in particular, who shared their experiences with racism and discrimination, were a great source of support. "It was inspiring and beautiful to hear her words of encouragement, saying to me, 'You don't understand what this means to us, to our community, to all the little black and brown girls who will find themselves in you'" the young actress explained at the time.