X-Men: Apocalypse sure is a movie that's in theaters. Have you seen it? I have. We even had a podcast dedicated to talking about how stupid and fun it is.
Not everyone is happy with the latest in the X-movies, though, but not because of the movie itself -- the problem is the marketing. There's a particular image Fox has been using on banners and billboards to promote Bryan Singer's ode to blue mutants and guys with shooty eye beams that's got a lot of people unhappy. Have you seen it? You have. It's right up yonder at the top of this article.
So! Apocalypse choking Mystique to sell movie tickets. It's, uh ... not popular. Fans and industry folk alike have uniformly and vocally shared their dislike of showing a woman get strangled emotionlessly by a dude sans context for the purpose of advertising.
Actor and activist Rose McGowan had a lot to say on the topic when she was interviewed with THR, where she echoed what a lot of people have been saying on social media for a hot minute now:
"There is a major problem when the men and women at 20th Century Fox think casual violence against women is the way to market a film. There is no context in the ad, just a woman getting strangled. The fact that no one flagged this is offensive and frankly, stupid. The geniuses behind this, and I use that term lightly, need to to take a long hard look at the mirror and see how they are contributing to society. Imagine if it were a black man being strangled by a white man, or a gay male being strangled by a hetero? The outcry would be enormous. So let’s right this wrong. 20th Century Fox, since you can’t manage to put any women directors on your slate for the next two years, how about you at least replace your ad?"
You may agree with this assessment, you may not. But Fox certainly heard what was being said and have subsequently decided to remove and replace those ads. Here's the official statement on the subject:
"In our enthusiasm to show the villainy of the character Apocalypse we didn’t immediately recognize the upsetting connotation of this image in print form. Once we realized that how insensitive it was, we quickly took steps to replace those materials. We apologize to anyone offended by our actions."
This comes hot on the heels of the "is fandom broken" debate (which we also podcasted about recently). Certainly people who believe that fans currently view art too much as a purchased and controllable commodity will not be dissuaded by this latest development. Then again, marketing material for already commercialized art isn't exactly the most unblemishable of mediums, so ...
Regardless, this image is going adios. Happy trails, image of Oscar Isaac choking fellow Academy Award nominee (and winner) Jennifer Lawrence!