The Promise was a historical romance set against the backdrop of the Armenian genocide and starring Christian Bale and Oscar Isaac and was expected to be controversial.
Descendants of the 1.5 million Armenians killed by the Ottoman Empire shortly after the onset of World War I have long pressed for the episode to be recognised as genocide. The Turkish government has long insisted that the deaths were not a premeditated extermination.
But the film looks set to be sunk by a one star campaign, despite great reviews. More than 100,000 Turks registered on IMDb that the film was rubbish, even though the film had only been shown to 900 people in Toronto.
The online campaign against The Promise appears to have originated on sites like Incisozluk, a Turkish version of 4chan, where there were calls for users to “downvote” the film’s ratings on IMDb and YouTube.
Similar campaigns have been run against Star Wars spinoff Rogue One to indie Holocaust-denier drama Denial to Justin Simien’s upcoming Netflix series Dear White People.
In 2016, the all-female reboot of Ghostbusters became a magnet for a downvoting campaign from 4chan and Reddit users. They organized to give hundreds of thousands of “thumbs down” to the film’s YouTube marketing materials. In the end, Ghostbusters lost an estimated $70 million.
On IMDb, The Promise now has an average of 4.2 stars thanks to more than 35,000 10-star ratings that have been left by supporters of the film to counter the more than 60,000 one-star ratings. (There are fewer than 1,400 ratings between two and nine stars.)