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Rarely do you hear of a movie marketing team running into a problem by putting a film’s star – arguably one of the most famous faces on the planet – front and center on a poster. And yet, this is exactly what is happening in the orthodox cities of Jerusalem and Bnei Brak, where posters for the fourth and final Hunger Games movie have removed Jennifer Lawrence’s image because of a concern that her female figure might anger people.
Jennifer Lawrence has been playing freedom fighter Katniss Everdeen since 2012, and is preparing to bring the four-part film series to a close when The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 reaches theaters around the world. But a report in Haaretz states that posters hanging up in Jerusalem and Bnei Brak have replaced Lawrence and her signature bow and arrow with a fiery crown. A representative for a a local PR firm tasked with working on the Hunger Games sequel states:
We discovered that public posters with the image of a female are often torn down in Jerusalem, while Bnei Brak does not allow posters with female images.
Isn’t that some bullshit? Talk about completely missing the message of the last two Hunger Games movies. In the Mockingjay portions of Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games series, Lawrence’s Katniss Everdeen has stood as a visual representation of the rebellion against The Capitol, a symbol of hope that the eventual actions of the rebellion can do away with tyranny and dissent. And yet, we are hearing that posters such as these are borderline offensive to some people simply because they feature the mockingjay, herself, Katniss Everdeen?
Then people who are going to such lengths to remove posters of Jennifer Lawrence/Katniss Everdeen aren’t the audience for this movie, anyway. But the vocal complaints of one group affect the decisions that are being made when marketing a strong Hollywood sequel such as this. Liron Suissa, the VP of marketing for Nur Star Media,the company behind the posters, bravely admits:
Unfortunately we are subject to unofficial coercion that forces us to be more careful. We have had endless vandalization, and clients prefer not to take the chance. We allow everything, but we recommend hanging another visual when necessary. The decision is the clients.
The good news is that The Hunger Games, by this point, doesn’t need a poster to remind people that it is opening in theaters. The film has a massive fanbase, and Lawrence remains one of the industry’s biggest stars. But it’s frustrating to learn that, in 2015, protests still happen in parts of the world for reasons stated above.