Kathryn Lindsay
June 02, 2016 12:25 pm
20th Century Fox

The purpose of a movie billboard is not just to give viewers an idea of what the movie’s about, but also excite them enough to go see it. That’s why some people are concerned about what’s going down on a current billboard in Los Angeles for X-Men: Apocalypse featuring Jennifer Lawrence‘s character, Mystique, and Oscar Isaac as Apocalypse. I know what you’re thinking: how could anything involving Oscar Isaac and Jennifer Lawrence be bad? However, actress Rose McGowan, and a handful of others, have pointed out that it sends a pretty weird message, and we can’t help but agree. The billboard shows Apocalypse with his hand around Mystique’s throat, strangling her.

Rose McGowan, best known for her work in Charmed, spoke to 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,” she said, going on to explain that the ad is problematic because there’s “no context,” it’s just a woman being strangled by a man.

“So let’s right this wrong,” she concluded. “Twentieth 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?”

Rose isn’t alone in her discomfort. Jennifer McCleary-Sills, director of gender violence and rights for the International Center for Research on Women, echoed her sentiments, adding:

That is probably the most disturbing part about the billboard — that it was deliberate. The very fact that violence against a woman could be seen as a draw, or even alluring, is concerning.

Other concerned viewers have taken to Twitter to express their distaste with this choice:

We’re still excited about seeing X:Men: Apocalypse, but we’re pleased this billboard has inspired a much-needed discussion about the portrayal of violence against women (mutant or human) in the film industry. We can only hope Rose’s words inspire change and that filmmakers and marketing folks alike know that people are watching.

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