The third Smurfs movie is hitting theaters near the beginning of April, and many have been excited about the inclusion of more female Smurfs into the Smurfs universe. That is, at least in parts of the world. In other parts of the world, people are still removing female Smurfs from billboards. Recently, Smurfs: The Lost Village billboards and advertisements in Israel were put up, but there was one distinct Smurf missing from some of the advertisements: Smurfette. Here's why part of Israel ditched the blue leading lady.
While many of the posters and artwork for Smurfs: The Lost Village have been cheery and filled with Smurfette, as seen above, Variety says that in parts of Israel--namely the ultra Orthodox Bnei Brak region of Tel Aviv--the posters were tweaked so that Smurfette was nowhere to be seen. This is because ultra Orthodox Jewish men are forbidden to look at images of women, apparently even of the blue-colored, miniature, cartoon variety.
You can see the edited poster in the tweet, below.
This hasn't only been a problem with the Smurfs franchise. In various parts of Israel, the Katniss Everdeen-centric Hunger Games posters were changed to more generic and non-feminine images. Even Ikea catalogs have been known to get rid of their female models in order to cater to Orthodox neighborhoods. Although the billboards are changed to suit the hyper religious neighborhoods, many people living in those neighborhoods are less religious and will still go to see the films, which is why the billboards exist in the first place. It's basically like catering advertising to suite the more niche demographic.
However, with plenty of female-centric movies, including Ghost in the Shell and Wonder Woman coming up, we'll have to wait and see if these neighborhoods will eventually change to fit the times or will stick with the traditional ways of doing things. We'll keep you posted every step of the way. In the meantime, clearly there are some posters with Smurfette on them around, so this decision in certain parts of Israel isn't affecting promotions all over, but rather is affecting certain areas. Which is unfortunate, considering one of the pros of Smurfs: The Lost Village is that is is a bit more into female inclusion than past iterations of the franchise.
While we wait to see what other posters get changed to cater to different audiences, catch Smurfs: The Lost Village in theaters everywhere on April 7, and find out what else is hitting theaters soon with our full movies premiere schedule.