Billboards for the new “X-Men: Apocalypse” film featured Mystique, played by box office superstar Jennifer Lawrence, being choked by the title villain. It’s an image that evokes danger, excitement and mystery.
Is Apocalypse so strong he can conquer Mystique, a fierce warrior shown in several previous “X” features?
Only the social justice warriors viewed the ad differently. They saw a woman being choked by a man, and immediately conjured images of domestic abuse.
Fox, the studio behind the film, agreed. And blinked. Now, you won’t find the billboard in a city near you.
Women rightly want equal rights in Hollywood. Direct more movies. Lead more blockbusters. And star in more superhero films, the current coin of the industry’s realm.
That means women fighting colorfully clad bad guys … and sometimes taking serious counter punches in response. That’s what the poster in question showed.
Lawrence is one of the leading voices against Hollywood inequality in recent months. She’d be wise to speak up in defense of the billboard ad. She can do so respectfully, but show that equality means more than just bemoaning the lack of opportunity within the system.
Just don’t hold your breath for it to happen.
In other entertainment news:
- Turtles Shelled: “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” made roughly half of the 2014 film’s opening weekend haul. Neither fans nor critics had much love for the first film in the rebooted series. Anyone surprised they haven’t forgotten that a mere two years later?
- Like Me … or Else: Gwen Stefani’s 2016 tour mantra sounds like something Conner from “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping” would say: “I want people to feel like they know me by the end of it, and if I have to slap ’em around and tell ’em what to do, by the end of the show I want to walk away and feel like we know each other and that we have a connection. So all of the other stuff — the lights, the video screens, the costumes, the makeup — to me what’s punk is saying, ‘You will have fun and I will control you, and by the end of this we’re gonna be best friends.’ That’s my attitude.”
- Mommying Comes First: Elizabeth Banks won’t be back to direct the third “Pitch Perfect” film, slated for Dec. 2017. Why? Her duties as a parent come first. In our uber-cynical world, it’s hard to take her claim at face value. That said, wouldn’t be surprised to see some Social Justice Warriors blast her for putting her kids first. Wouldn’t be the first time critics found motherhood less than noble.
- A Mind Easily Boggled: Paul Feig, the “Spy” director overseeing the new “Ghostbusters” movie, complained at a recent diversity panel about the criticism his film has received sight unseen. Oscar winner Octavia Spencer added to his comments. “”The fact that there are people who take any type of umbrage with [the movie] is mind boggling to me,” she says.
- Enter Gender Card Queen: Hillary Clinton vowed to make Hollywood more inclusive of women during a recent fundraising stop in Los Angeles.
- True Hollywood Bravery: Stacey Dash isn’t just a black female conservative, she’s one who doesn’t hold her tongue when describing Hollywood’s cultural agenda.
- Not With Her: Hollywood will eventually fall behind Hillary Clinton once she secures her party’s nomination. Yet even now, with Bernie Sanders’ insurgent campaign having little chance of derailing the former First Lady’s goals, some stars aren’t convinced Clinton deserves their respect. Count Rosario Dawson of “Top Five” fame as a prime example.
- In Defense of White Authors: Welcome to 2016.
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