Syfy Insider Exclusive

Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive videos, sweepstakes, and more!

Sign Up For Free to View

Why A Bloody Commercial For Jason Statham’s Action Flick The Mechanic Was Banned From TV

Some Jason Stratham action scenes are not suitable for children.

By Josh Weiss
Arthur Bishop (Jason Statham) wears a collared coat in The Mechanic (2011).

This should come as no surprise to anyone, but organizations that concern themselves with the regulation of popular media tend to look down upon the depiction of graphic violence in TV commercials broadcast to the general public.

Back in the summer of 2011, Lionsgate ran afoul of the United Kingdom's Advertising Standards Authority, which ordered a teaser spot for The Mechanic (now streaming on Peacock alongside its 2016 sequel) be banned after it showed "a stream of violent imagery," the non-government body told the BBC at the time. "We considered that the ad was inappropriate for children and were therefore also concerned that a significant proportion of children had been exposed to the violent imagery."

Why A Television Ad For The Mechanic Was Banned in the United Kingdom

Arthur Bishop (Jason Statham) talks to a white haired man in The Mechanic (2011).

The controversial commercial, which appeared during a broadcast of Glee, was yanked from the air for showing "a man's leg being speared and another man being shot in the face through a window," the BBC reported. Fun fact: the guy who gets shot through the window is played by none other than John Wick director, Chad Stahelski. Both he and fellow Wick alum, David Leitch (who also enjoys a small role in the film), worked as stuntmen on the R-rated project. It was deemed unsuitable for UK moviegoers under the age of 15.

While the ad was shown after "the watershed" (a period of time throughout the night when mature content is allowed to be shown on TV) had taken effect, ASA surmised "it was likely a large number of viewers under the age of 16 would have been watching Glee at the time."

For More on Jason Statham:

Remembering Crank, Jason Statham’s Adrenaline-Fueled Race to Survive

Why Jason Statham Prefers Action Roles Like Fast & Furious Over Playing a Superhero

Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham hold court on Hobbs & Shaw, focused on fighting and family

What Is The Mechanic About?

A remake of the 1972 film starring Charles Bronson, the movie follows Arthur Bishop (played by longtime action vet Jason Statham), a professional assassin — known in the criminal underworld as a "Mechanic" — who decides to train wayward protégée Steve McKenna (Ben Foster) in the art of subtle murder. As he and Steve bond over their talent for snuffing out lives, Arthur slowly begins to realize that his shady employer, Dean (Tony Goldwyn), has broken the unspoken code of honor among the killer community.

"We reinvented everything to be modern in kind of a classic way," director Simon West said in a 2011 interview with Mandatory. "There’s not a lot of tech-y equipment in it. It’s not Mission: Impossible, but it’s definitely been updated visually in terms of what the audience expects to see action-wise. Everyone has seen a million movies since the original and they need an updated approach to it."

The Mechanic and its 2016 sequel, Mechanic: Resurrection, are now streaming on Peacock.