It happens every day. In fact, it is pretty hard to avoid it. There are some things that can only be understood with a slap on the forehead. Things so mind-boggling that one wonders how humans managed to evolve thumbs while being this mentally inept. Case in point:
Fox released a billboard for the film X-Men: Apocalypse. The billboard featured the villain Apocalypse, the world’s first mutant, strangling Mystique, one of the film’s heroes:
That is a good poster and gives an idea of what happens in the film. The shot is actually in the film and part of the climatic battle.
It is relatively harmless, but not to actress Rose McGowan. Because McGowan apparently had nothing else better to do with her time, she took to Facebook to complain about the “sexism” of the poster:
There is a major problem when the men and women at 20th Century Fox think casual violence against women is the way to market a film. There is no context in the ad, just a woman getting strangled. The fact that no one flagged this is offensive and frankly, stupid. The geniuses behind this, and I use that term lightly, need to to take a long hard look at the mirror and see how they are contributing to society. Imagine if it were a black man being strangled by a white man, or a gay male being strangled by a hetero? The outcry would be enormous. So let’s right this wrong. 20th Century Fox, since you can’t manage to put any women directors on your slate for the next two years, how about you at least replace your ad?
I’ll close with a text my friend sent, a conversation with his daughter. It follows: ‘My daughter and I were just having a deep discussion on the brutality of that hideous X-Men poster yesterday. Her words: ‘Dad, why is that monster man committing violence against a woman?’ This from a 9-year-old. If she can see it, why can’t Fox?
Three things. One, that text did not happen. It is a very clever anecdote, but it is unlikely a 9-year-old girl would say anything like that. It is more likely that McGowan made that up to try to justify her position.
Two, Apocalypse is the villain, i.e. the person in the film who does bad things such as choking one of the heroes. In the film, Apocalypse chokes Mystique because he disguises herself as a different character and Apocalypse catches her. It is an important scene in the film because Xavier must choose between saving Mystique or giving himself up to Apocalypse so the villain can use Xavier’s powers to control the minds of everyone in the world. No sexism, just a story-driving device.
Three, the imagery is not offensive or stupid. People’s reaction to it, however, is stupid. At no point in the film does Mystique’s sex ever play a role in her status. Indeed, she is the inspiration for the young mutants. At no point does Fox depict Mystique as weak. That is not even the point of the poster. Fox simply took a cool moment from the film and used it to show that Apocalypse is so strong that even Mystique, the shapeshifter who is so badass she can take down Magneto, is no match for him. That is it.
All the complaining about sexism and misogyny and offense is simply people virtue-signalling. Had that been Nightcrawler, Cyclops, or Xavier, none of them would have batted an eye. Of course, aside from Xavier, no one would have cared because Xavier is the only one with the status to matter.
As expected, Fox backed down and issued a statement apologizing of the billboard:
In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Fox apologized for the billboard: “In our enthusiasm to show the villainy of the character Apocalypse we didn’t immediately recognize the upsetting connotation of this image in print form. Once we realized how insensitive it was, we quickly took steps to remove those materials. We apologize for our actions and would never condone violence against women.”
This is why you do not apologize to the social justice mob. There was no hidden connotation in the image. It is was not insensitive. No one actually thinks the billboard condones violence against women. No one thinks Fox condones violence against women.
These people are only fucking with you.
There is no other way to put it. This is a game they play where they push and prod to see who will bend to their complaints. If you capitulate, they will keep doing it. One of the reasons they can pull this nonsense is because companies back down when the social justice mob pitches a fit. They have gotten used to companies jumping for “damage control” rather than those companies supporting their products.
What makes it sad is that this was not headed by a popular, A-list actress. This was Rose McGowan. This is a way for her to get her name in the news and Fox fell for it.