A poster for X-Men: Apocalypse showing Jennifer Lawrence’ character Mystique in a chokehold has sparked outrage.
The promotional image sees Oscar Isaac’s villain Apocalypse grabbing the heroine by the throat above a tagline reading: “Only the strong will survive”.
While the poster has not put viewers off going to see the movie (it is top of the UK box office for a second consecutive week), many have criticised its “disturbing” and “gratuitous” focus on violence against a woman, with one billboard in New York covered with sticky notes reading “This violence in my kid’s face is not OK”.
Charmed actress Rose McGowan has joined widespread calls for 20th Century Fox to recall the “offensive” advert, arguing that there is a “major problem” when studios think that “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,” she said in a statement made to The Hollywood Reporter. “The geniuses behind this, and I use that term lightly, need 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 are lease replace your ad?”
McGowan also shared a text she had been sent by a friend. “My daughter and I were just having a deep discussion on the brutality of that hideous X-Men poster yesterday,” it read. “Her words: ‘Dad, why is that monster man committing violence against a woman?’ This is from a 9-year-old. If she can see it, why can’t Fox?”
Not everyone agrees that the poster should be axed, with some Twitter users defending Fox for using the image:
Fox and X-Men: Apocalypse producer Lauren Shuler Donner are yet to respond to THR’s requests for comment.
X-Men: Apocalypse is in cinemas now