Friday, June 21, 2024

Marketing Madness…

November 24, 2009 by  
Filed under Entertainment, News, Weekly Columns

( If I hadn’t already seen the movie Couples Retreat I would not have spent my precious time doing so after hearing the latest about the people in charge of marketing the movie. In case you haven’t heard, advertisers have been accused of using poor judgment at best and being racist at worst.

The comedy stars four married couples who visit a tropical island to rekindle their newlywed love. Black actors Faizon Love and Kali Hawk, two of the premier thespians, are featured in promotional posters for the film across the United States along with three white couples. But the Black actors were removed from promo posters in the United Kingdom. And Universal Pictures is pointing the finger of bigotry at the citizens of the United Kingdom.

In one response movie executives said the actors were removed from copies of the UK poster because “Black actors don’t attract a large following in the UK.” Yet in another response a Universal spokesman said the altered poster aimed “to simplify the poster to actors who are most [recognizable] in international markets.”

The word ‘recognizable’ must be a euphemism for White. And even then the excuse doesn’t seem genuine. And here’s why: Even though people of color – my euphemism for non-Whites – make up a smaller percentage of the UK population, it has the most multicultural demographics than any other European nation. And just like in the United States people of color there want to see themselves represented in all professions, including on the big screen.

As movie stars go, I would agree that Vince Vaughn, the premiere actor in the movie, might be more familiar by face and name than Faizon Love. But I wouldn’t say the same for all the other actors featured in the movie and on the poster. In fact, if I conducted a poll of the most recognizable actors in the movie I’m sure Love would rank near the top of the list instead of the bottom as suggested.

I am amazed at the questionable decisions made by some people in the media and their disregard for people of color, as if those decisions won’t be questioned when those decisions come to light. It’s as if they are hoping that we collectively will be working on some other project that day and will be too busy to realize when we are being bamboozled.

As for those so-called advertising experts who claim the international marketplace is racist, while not having the intelligence to realize that including Black actors in the marketing would only attract more people to the movie thus increasing its profits, I say it takes a racist to know a racist. And these are some dumb racists.

Written By Steffanie Rivers

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