Actress and activist Rose McGowan is one woman completely unafraid to call Hollywood out for its misbehaviour, sexist or otherwise. Remember when she called out Adam Sandler for promoting sexist tweets? The gutsy move got her fired by her agents, but she’s had the last laugh. Recently, she has been taking part in projects and fundraising initiatives aimed at highlighting the need for women to be fully inclusive in society; her part in the #YesAllWomen campaign had her in the limelight talking about why it was high time women were genuinely heard.
This time, she’s calling out the movie industry for what she says is playing a part in “trivialising violence against women.” A billboard for X-Men: Apocalypse, one of the summer’s behemoth blockbusters, includes a shot of Oscar Isaac’s character choking Jennifer Lawrence ‘s — and the Charmed star says it’s a prime example of violence toward women being used to market a product.
Exec #1: This is a great poster!
Exec #2: I agree! It’s not problematic at all! pic.twitter.com/roRDiTIeml
— Sasha (@ThatSashaJames) May 24, 2016
Yes, the shot is from a scene in the movie, but placed on a billboard without any context, McGowan argues it becomes something else entirely.
“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 elaborated in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter.
“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. 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?”
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?”
McGowan is certainly not the only one to take issue with this billboard, with several bloggers and Twitter users expressing their criticisms as well, saying that the “striking image of Apocalypse choking Mystique is a reminder of how violence against women is used as a default and “seen as sexy for all the wrong reasons.”
This time, however, words didn’t just fall on deaf ears, as the outcry prompted Fox to release a statement apologising for the insensitive billboard: “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 realised how insensitive it was, we quickly took steps to remove those materials. We apologise for our actions and would never condone violence against women.”
McGowan, 1, Hollywood, 0.