Actress Rose McGowan took to Facebook to complain about the above poster recently, saying:
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?”
And what did Fox do? Well, Fox apologized for the billboard saying:
“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.”
Sigh. Are we really at a point in life where certain people are deciding that we are not allowed to have fiction anymore because it might seem too much like something somewhere in life? Look, no decent person with a mother, wife, or young daughter is going to stand up and shout, hey we want to see some of that real violence against women...yes, more of that please. No, people aren't going to want to be a part of that except we aren't talking about that. These are fictional beings in a fictional universe that fight fictional battles. We've complained forever that the action industry was male centered and it basically has been for a lot of "societal" reasons," but now that more women are on the screen as action/fantasy/syfy characters, I'm not sure what we are expected to expect them to do exactly in these films: "hey, just yell at the boys ladies, and tell them to stop fighting while you knit on the sidelines!"
Hello, the whole point of having badass female characters in a villainous, and I might add, fictional world, is that they are ALSO expected to fight and save the world of their own accord without relying on some dude to always come running and save them and as such, it often involves them having to fight and defend themselves...just like the men in these films. I might also add there are several scenes in these types of movies where female characters are equally beating up on the men, but again YES, a million times, YES, violence against women or men is bad, but let's focus that to real violence in the real world. We should all put our focus on that as opposed to what is a fictional work involving non-human characters.
I mean honestly, if we continue on this train of thought, let's also prohibit movie posters with men being punched or choked by other men. Let's just prohibit fiction in fictional movies altogether. Trust me when I say, when a man, or woman for that matter, gets to the point where s/he's actually physically choking his/her child or significant other, it wasn't because they saw an X-men movie. Remember how the Matrix "caused" high schoolers to shoot their class mates. Do you know how many high schoolers saw the Matrix and continue to see the Matrix and never commit murder or crime. Anyway, Fox is taking steps to take it down, so it is what it is, but honestly, if we're going to rally hard behind something and get people involved, let's do it for REAL people who are in real danger and need help, not blowing up over two actors made to look like they are hurting one another in a fictional universe.
For some real ways to help end violence against women read, participate, and donate: