UPDATE: Lionsgate To Pull Italian ’12 Years A Slave’ Posters Following Controversy + Apology

UPDATE: Lionsgate To Pull Italian '12 Years A Slave' Posters Following Controversy + Apology

Forgive me for bragging, but I like to think we had a major
part in this latest development.

But Variety is reporting that Lionsgate has announced that they will be pulling those controversial
Italian Brad Pitt/Michael Fassbender 12
Years A Slave
posters after howls of protest from people. No doubt after
my piece yesterday. I had no idea I was so powerful.

A spokesman for Lionsgate, whose Summit distribution arm label is releasing the film in Italy, said
that:

The ’12 Years a Slave’ theatrical posters
featuring Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender that were recently released in Italy
were unauthorized and were not approved by any of the producers or licensors of
the film. Summit Entertainment, acting as exclusive sales agent for the
licensors, is investigating and taking immediate action to stop the
distribution of any unauthorized posters and to have those posters currently in
the marketplace recalled.

But seriously all credit should go to the Tumblr blog Carefree Black Girl, which first posted the
images of the Italian posters for 12 Years that caught our attention.

But this does beg the question: were these posters really “unauthorized and…not approved
as they claim, or is this a convenient excuse after people expressed shock and
outrage about them? 

UPDATE: Today BIM
Distribuzine
, which worked with the
marketing company Fanatical About Cinema in creating the posters, and for which Lionsgate/Summit was acting as the
film’s Italian sales agents, issued an apology for the posters saying that: “We
apologize for creating and releasing unauthorized posters for ’12 Years A
Slave’ in Italy featuring Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender in a manner
inconsistent with approved advertising materials. All inappropriate materials
have now been withdrawn. We are very proud of the film and regret any
distraction this incident may have caused.

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Comments

buju

Sergio's joking, right? I can't tell since S&A be wildin sometimes. Like when Tambay thought McQueen changed the "Shame" screenplay based on his blog post. Hilarious.

anon

sorry this is hillarious you have to laugh or cry lol! its so blatent its begges belief! bad pitt doesnt he have two lines in the entire movie and they got him up there looking like jesus?! wow thank god i left europe this is breathtakingly racist!

Malcolmx

I ain't putting these nigg@s on my posters either, these nigg@s don't sell no copies…and Sergio, you ain't sh!t.

Miles Maker

Summit Entertainment is the sales agent–which means they sell the film to the territory's buyer, who then designs marketing imagery and cuts the trailer to their liking as they see fit (within reason and contractual fine print) to sell the movie locally as they know best and to recoup their expenditure.

In this case, that company is BIM is releasing who conceptualized these posters in collaboration with marketing company Fanatical About Cinema. This means the signage may very well be unapproved. Until Lionsgate/Summit is made aware of it, they simply don't have the bandwidth to monitor as many as 60+ potential foreign territories to police the buyers' sales strategies. However for a situation as blatant as this, Lionsgate/Summit is more than willing to 'save face' for this award-winning films and apply pressure to its foreign licensee.

Alex

I definitely think it was unauthorised and unapproved. It has happened before, but also it's not racism but ignorance. Italian audiences are not expected to be drawn to see a film with a black british star all over the poster. Brad Pitt and Fassbender however are faces they know and sadly would pay to see. Ignorance created and perpetuated by those who want to sell tickets.

Lane

It's entirely possible these posters were 'unapproved'. I work in studio marketing and it happens more than you'd think. You'd have to look at the posters in other territories for this film to see how much they were allowed to veer from the domestic one sheet look. Racist or not, those Italian posters are VERY bad art.

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