Turkish users of movie ratings site IMDB have reportedly attempted to flood the Armenian genocide film "The Promise" with bad reviews even before it was released.
The movie, which was released on April 21, follows the fictional love triangle between an Armenian doctor, a lovely dancer, and an American journalist in the city of Constantinople during the last days of the Ottoman Empire. However, they had to set aside their romance after the Turkish government started its mass incarceration and execution of Armenian citizens.
Users of a Turkish message board reportedly decided to flood the movie with bad ratings after they learned about its upcoming release.
According to The Washington Post, the film has received more than 120,000 ratings, 62,000 of which were rated with the lowest ranking of one-star.
One user's comment was roughly translated as saying, "Guys, Hollywood is filming a big movie about the so-called Armenian genocide and the trailer has already been watched 700k times. We need to do something urgently."
An estimated 1.5 million Armenians were killed during the empire's final days, beginning in 1915. At least 26 countries have acknowledged the mass killings as genocide, but Turkey has long argued that the death toll has been inflated and that the casualties were victims of civil war and unrest.
As of April 25, the movie had a 5.8 rating on IMDB, but at one point, it was rated 1.8 star, which places it in the 10 lowest-rated films on the entire website. More than 35,000 supporters of the film tried to counter the low ratings by giving it a 10-star rating.
"All I know is that we were in about a 900-seat house with a real ovation at the end, and then you see almost 100,000 people who claim the movie isn't any good," producer Mike Medavoy lamented.
Ralph Winter, one of the film's producers, encouraged Christians to see "The Promise" because it highlights the persecution that is still happening around the world today.
"In the 20th century, this genocide of a million and a half people in Armenia is the most modern indicator that if we don't learn our lesson, if we don't pay attention, if we don't fight back against this, it's just going to continue to happen," he said.
"The Promise" was directed by Terry George, and it stars Christian Bale, Oscar Isaac, and Charlotte Le Bon. The film was released just days before the annual Armenian remembrance day of the mass killings, which was on Monday.