Wanted Posters Banned

Movies about strippers who don't ever get naked. Trailers for movies about pot heads that can't mention weed. Now in the latest step in the continuing madness and pussification of the world, for the second time in a year, a British watchdog has decided that promotional material for action films about shooting can't feature guns. Or at least, pretty women with guns.

The BBC reports the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) upheld ten of seventeen complaints about two posters which were used for the James McAvoy gun porn movie Wanted which claimed the posters were unsuitable for children. Seventeen complaints in a country of 61,000,000. Thats such a low percentage that my calculator spazzes out trying to work it out. The ASA claimed that "the use of a glamorous actress, gun images and aspirational text could glamorise violence". So apparently in the UK pretty women can't kick ass with guns and if they do it will inspire young people, living in a country with some of the tightest gun laws in the west, to pick up guns of their own and go shoot up their local high school just for the hell of it.

I bet if the poster had featured more of Jolie's pneumatic breasts and less of her big shiny gun that would've been much more acceptable "for children". After all, the Tomb Raider posters had no trouble getting through. Nice to know sexism is still alive and well in the UK. Just to muddy the waters of their ruling, the ASA said, "we acknowledged most viewers would understand the posters reflected the content of an action film". Also Universal Pictures have made it clear that they were never aware of any issues with the posters when getting the required clearance to use them by the ASA in the first place.

This news comes a year after a similar controversy over posters for the Clive Owen action flick Shoot 'Em Up which received a similar rap after the more calculator friendly but equally absurd 0.0001% of the population found that a poster for an action movie featuring guns made them cry. What makes this one even more absurd is that Clive Owen pointing his guns directly at the viewer obviously terrified somebody enough to think a piece of printed paper would shoot them, so New Line had to go back and make new posters and DVD sleeves where he points he guns arbitrarily to the ground. That was acceptable. A pretty girl holding a gun pointed a nobody however, is apparently more liable to turn your kid in to a gangbanger. This line about what is and isn't acceptable seems about as well defined as an FCC indecency fine.

As if bland "floating heads" and "standing in a staggered line" posters weren't prevalent enough these days, this kind of move just encourages that kind of lazy advertising because it's so inoffensive and easy to do that distributors will just resort to it in order to avoid this kind of legal wrangle. Another nail in the coffin of creativity in the movie industry. That is of course until someone complains that the image of a car blowing up they put under the floating heads receives complaints about reminding someone of terrorist attacks and then you can't have explosions in posters either.

So remember people of the UK, if something offends you, no matter the fact that you are one person with a skewed viewpoint and a grudge, no matter how spurious and trivial, you too can bring down an entire studio advertising campaign that 60,999,999 other people had no issue with and force a powerful standards watchdog to do a complete U-turn on their original decision. The modern world needs it's balls back before these kinds of stupid rulings get taken to their logical extremes.