Have you heard there's a Michael Bay-produced reboot of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise hitting theaters soon? (Because that seemed like something people were clamoring for.) The latest TMNT installment is a live-action flick featuring the pizza-loving, crime-fighting anthropomorphic creatures some of us remember from a painful period in the '80s when one of the turtles was known for his thrilling catchphrase, "Cowabunga, dude!" Now, you'd think this upcoming film wouldn't be capable of provoking more than nostalgia combined with a vague despair over Hollywood's fear of original concepts, but a promo poster for the movie has managed to stir up a massive amount of public outrage.
You're wondering what could possibly be so offensive about a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles poster, right? Well, it was promoting the movie's September 11 opening in Australia, and the artwork was ... oh dear. Let's just say it was a very very very very VERY poor decision.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles releases on August 8 in North America, but the Australian distribution is scheduled for September 11. In order to hype the release date, Paramount Pictures Australia tweeted its official ad for the film, and before you look at this, keep in mind that the movie itself is set in New York City.
Here's the poster:
Uhhhh. Yeah. Wow. I mean, I guess the overall artwork was probably created without any particular knowledge of release dates, but who slapped "SEPTEMBER 11" on this and didn't stop for a minute to think people might not enjoy seeing bodies dropping from an exploding skyscraper?
Paramount deleted the tweet once the shocked comments began rolling in, and has since followed up with an apology:
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.
I completely believe no one intentionally came up with an upsetting image, and I can just imagine the horrified corporate scramble that went on behind the scenes. It's also true that, as a society, I often think we're far too quick to be offended, almost like we're constantly on the lookout for reasons to get our collective panties in a wad -- but in the case of this poster, I'm calling it a legitimate marketing fail, worthy of being called out. Someone at some point should have looked at that poster and made this face:
What do you think about the controversy over this poster? Do you think it's justified?
Image via Paramount