The fight for equality has become a central battleground to the entertainment world over the years. Women have made some substantial strides recently, but the fight rages on. The superhero genre has slowly but surely begun to do its part to try and become a more inclusive and accepting environment, but even the most simple of mistakes can turn into massive controversies. One such controversy revolves around how 20th Century Fox has promoted X-Men: Apocalypse, and the studio has finally addressed the massive outcry against Bryan Singer’s latest film.
According to EW, Fox has released a statement apologizing for the recent X-Men: Apocalypse billboard controversy, with the promise to remove the offensive material from the public eye. It states:
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.
Just in case you haven’t kept up with this controversy, allow us to bring you up to speed. Many people have taken umbrage with a billboard promoting the recent release of X-Men: Apocalypse, which depicts the titular villain placing Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique in a brutal chokehold. In a charge led by actress Rose McGowan, many have labeled the piece of promotional material “offensive” and seemingly an approval of violence against women.
This one is a tough nut to crack. In the most literal sense, the billboard is a piece of promotional material depicting an act of violence against a woman. Those who would defend the billboard seem to assert that Mystique is one of the franchise’s most popular, badass and all around coolest characters who gets some of the film’s strongest moments; they therefore don't necessarily see it as a big deal.
However, those who take issue with the billboard seem to want point out that billboards don’t necessarily feature any of Mystique’s badass moments, and that this single choke hold has, in many ways, become the crux of the film’s marketing campaign. It’s not the fact that Mystique gets choked that people have a problem with (that's basically the go-to villain move in most movies), it’s the fact that they’re using that to try to fill theater seats.
As with all controversies of this sort, we have a feeling that the truth lies somewhere in the middle. 20th Century Fox has at least taken a step in the right direction by addressing the overall outrage to the situation, but we will have to see where the issue goes from here. Then again, maybe Fox got exactly what they wanted, considering the fact that X-Men: Apocalypse has now become a major topic of conversation within the entertainment landscape. We will keep you up to date with any new information concerning this situation as it becomes available to us.