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Rose McGowan Calls Out Fox for “Offensive” and “Stupid” X-Men: Apocalypse Poster


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Last week, our contributor Sasha James wrote an article asking why Fox execs thought a poster of Apocalypse choking Mystique was the ideal way to advertise X-Men: Apocalypse. The moment depicted in this poster might be integral to the arc of the film, but pedestrians and drivers passing the ad don’t necessarily have that context; they just see a man choking a naked woman. Why, as Sasha asked, did Fox choose this image out of Apocalypse’s 144 minutes to advertise the movie? Why use an instant that connotes and might even help normalize abusive behavior to sell a film? Actress Rose McGowan doesn’t get it, either.

In a Facebook exchange with The Hollywood Reporter, McGowan wrote: “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?”

[…] I’ll close with a text my friend sent, a conversation with his daughter. It follows: ‘My daughter and I were just having a deep discussion on the brutality of that hideous X-Men poster yesterday. Her words: ‘Dad, why is that monster man committing violence against a woman?’ This from a 9-year-old. If she can see it, why can’t Fox?”

I’m not as optimistic as McGowan is that a poster of “a black man being strangled by a white man, or a gay male being strangled by a hetero” would receive the outcry it deservedI suspect lots of people would protest, but that plenty would have the same response they’ve had to the backlash over this poster: calm down, it’s just an ad/movie/have you ever even read X-Men? StillI’m glad this discussion is continuing. McGowan is frequently a dissenting voice in Hollywood, and although we might not always agree with her, she’s helping bring light to an important conversation here.

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