Anna Gragert
June 03, 2016 3:28 pm
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Yesterday, Charmed actress Rose McGowan made us all take a second look at the X-Men: Apocalypse posters we’ve been seeing around every corner. Specifically, she pointed out that there’s something wrong with the billboard featuring Oscar Isaac’s Apocalypse strangling Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique.

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,” McGowan told The Hollywood Reporter. “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?

Now, Fox has responded. “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,” stated the film studio. “Once we realized that how insensitive it was, we quickly took steps to replace those materials. We apologize to anyone offended by our actions.”

Though Rose’s statement was perhaps the most widespread, she wasn’t the only one who was disappointed by the film studio. According to Time, one of the X-Men: Apocalypse posters  in a New York subway station was covered with pieces of paper that spelled out this statement: “This violence in my kid’s face is not OK.” The International Center for Research on Women’s director of gender violence and rights, Jennifer McCleary-Sills, also had something to say about the promotional image: “I do see it as problematic … [W]hat really is the challenge here is the intentionality of it. 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?”

While it is upsetting that Fox promoted the controversial image in the first place, we are glad that it’s started an important conversation about how women are portrayed in the media. Because, no matter what the context, violence against women is never okay.

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