The studio behind the ninth installment of the X-Men series, X-Men: Apocalypse, 20th Century Fox has issued an apology over complaints that the main billboard image promoting the film is a scene where Oscar Isaac’s Apocalypse character is strangling Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique, with a caption that “Only The Strong Will Survive”.
One of the most vocal critics is director/actor Rose McGowan who told The Hollywood Reporter: “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.”
In the same article, writer and editor Jay Edidin, one half of the podcast Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men said: “Offensive isn’t always necessarily bad, but this is offensive in ways that serve absolutely no purpose, and while it does depict a scene from the actual film, it’s also a terrible representation of the movie as a whole.”
Twitter has also rallied against the billboard:
I know it’s a movie scene, but they’re also putting it on ads. ? pic.twitter.com/conG7YkhNt
— Carleesi Lane (@carlylane) May 11, 2016
I love that new X-Men poster that I have to see on every street corner with the giant man choking the small woman! Cool movie, looks like!
— jaime(bee) (@jaimebee) May 10, 2016
Driving home today, passed an X-Men billboard with just this image. It’s confusing, weird, and problematic. pic.twitter.com/uKS62bQYFv
— Jason Roberts (@jkroberts0) May 25, 2016
The appeal of the X-Men poster showing Jennifer Lawrence being choked is that battery can be fun?
— Gabriela RM (@GabrielaRM) May 13, 2016
I’m weirded out that the only image I’ve seen for X-Men Apocalypses is a man choking a woman. I just saw it on a massive billboard.
— Max (@elecray7k) May 17, 2016
In response to the controversy, 20th Century Fox released a statement: “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 how insensitive it was, we quickly took steps to remove those materials. We apologize for our actions and would never condone violence against women.”