In what is turning into a bizarre PR move, Paramount has removed a movie poster design for the upcoming Michael Bay "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" film from circulation due to the sensitive subject the poster portrays. One of the new Australian posters for the film shows the four titular characters jumping off an exploding building with the release date of 9/11 directly under the title.
Originally thought to be a cruel hoax by a fan, social media quickly discovered the poster to be officially released by Paramount. To make matters worse, the actual release date of the film for Australia is September 11, almost a month after the American release.
While there have been controversial film posters in the past, (Heath Ledger's Why So Serious? poster) this one seemed pretty acceptable until you piece the content and the date together. One has to wonder how something so simple went by so many levels of executives and public relations teams?
9/11 was one of the most devastating acts of terrorism the world has seen in the modern era. The whole world was shocked by the attack. Paramount can't feign national ignorance of it being an Australian poster as the subject of 9/11 is sensitive to not only Americans but a majority of the world.
For what it's worth, Paramount Australia has released an official statement regarding the matter:
We are deeply sorry to have used that artwork for the marketing materials promoting the September 11 opening in Australia. Combining that image and date was a mistake. We intended no offense and have taken immediate action to discontinue its use.
It would quite ironic if there wasn't even a scene in the movie where the turtles are jumping out of an exploding building.
What do you think of this PR blunder? Do you think social media overreacted? Let me know in the comments and on Twitter!