In the wake of [X-Men: Apocalypse](tag:1194267)'s release, 20th Century Fox learned a valuable lesson about having one's finger on the pulse of the current social and political climate when building a marketing campaign. Turns out, maybe that billboard of Apocalypse choking out Mystique wasn't such a great idea, after all. You know, this one:
To get why it wasn't a great idea, you have to understand the context. Quite a few people have spoken out about it on social media and in articles, pointing out the message it sends of casual violence against women is absolutely not OK. Yesterday, the always vocal Rose McGowan spoke out against it, as well, in a public statement to THR.
But Fox Has Addressed The Situation
To that end, Fox has finally issued a statement of apology for the poor foresight and egregious error in judgment. The full text is courtesy of The Playlist:
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.
No one is suggesting that Fox was condoning violence against women — that would be ridiculous — but the outcry illustrates that studios can no longer ignore what's happening in the broader context of society, not just in their films, but also in the way they market those films. At a time in which violence against women is alarmingly on the rise, centering a marketing campaign around the image of a woman being choked with the implication that only the stronger male will survive the encounter is, frankly, tone-deaf at best and perpetuates a dangerous message at worst.
The good thing is that Fox has recognized its mistake and why it was construed as harmful and quickly took steps to be accountable for it. And the studio is to be commended, for it not just paid shallow lip service, but took concrete steps to remove or alter the material. Hopefully, it's a scenario that will benefit everyone, with all studios taking a bit of extra time to vet their marketing campaigns from now on. Until then, hats off to Fox for owning up to its error.