“X-Men: Apocalypse” might have been a winner at last week’s box office but when it comes to its promotional poster, people are calling it a failure, criticizing how one in particular portrays violence against women.
Rose McGowan recently spoke out about a billboard which features Oscar Isaac’s Apocalypse choking Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique. The actress took to The Hollywood Reporter’s Facebook post to call out the studio for its decision to promote the action film with that image.
“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,” McGowan stated. “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,” she continued. “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?”
McGowan isn’t the only person to have spoken out about the image, New York blogger EV Grieve discussed it on her site and editor-in-chief of the blog Birth.Movies, Death Devin Faraci also commented on the matter saying, “I have wracked my brains trying to come up with an example of a marketing image like this featuring two men, and I’ve come up empty.”
Jennifer McCleary-Sills, director of gender violence and rights for the International Center for Research on Woman, also told THR, “I understand that some might not see it as an issue because it is a film about violence … with male and female characters who are warriors and fighting each other as equals.” Even though its a fictitious scenario she asks: “Where do we draw the line?…You could have chosen any from the thousands of images, but you chose this one. Whose attention did you want to get and to what end?”