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Italian Distribution Company Apologizes For Alleged Racist 12 Years a Slave Movie Poster

The recent quasi-outcry over actor Brad Pitt’s likeness being prominently featured on Italian distributor BIM Distibuzine’s movie poster for 12 Years a Slave has come to a head.

The recent quasi-outcry over actor Brad Pitt’s likeness being prominently featured on Italian distributor BIM Distibuzine’s movie poster for 12 Years a Slave has come to a head. The brazen poster features the lily white features of the aforementioned American actor taking up about 80 percent of the movie poster, with a small picture of Chitwetel Ejiofor as Solomon Northrup running across the bottom of the illustration.  

The design itself is comically racist on its face. Perhaps it simply reflects the audience the company was hoping to draw to the studio to see it? Yesterday, BIM released a statement apologizing for the advertisement:

"We apologize for creating and releasing unauthorized posters for 12 Years a Slave in Italy featuring Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender in a manner inconsistent with approved advertising materials. All inappropriate materials have now been withdrawn. We are very proud of the film and regret any distraction this incident may have caused."

The apology wasn’t exactly an outpouring of regret, but I guess it will have to do.  Did you peep the heavenly hue in Pitt’s facial structure?  It’s as if Solomon Northrop was driven by the inspiring face of the white savior. The movie poster featuring an image of actor Michael Fassbender’s face is displayed as if the film were actually called 12 Years a Slave Master, with Northrop running down below in the same manner as the poster displayed above.  This type of controversy is nothing new in America.


The Weinstein Bros. release The Sapphires, a tale about a group of Australian aboriginal women who form a soul group and tour Vietnam during the 60s, was released on DVD and Blu-Ray this summer. The cover featured Irish actor Chris O’Dowd in the foreground, while the background comprised actresses Deborah Mailman, Jessica Mauboy, Shari Sebbens, Miranda Tapsell appearing as if behind some sort crystalline glass wall. Perhaps the wall was indicative of the rabid racism that still haunts us all.  Perhaps the funniest part of all is the shocked outrage of progressive Americans towards a Sapphires move poster that was done in America.


Fox Searchlight served as the domestic distributor of "12 Years a Slave," and Lionsgate's Summit Entertainment served as the international sales agent and handled Italian distribution rights, which were acquired by BIM Distribuzine.
 

Starting his career as lead writer for EURweb.com back in 1998, Ricardo A Hazell has served as Senior Contributor with The Shadow League since coming to the company in 2013. His byline has appeared in the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, the South China Sea Morning Post, the Root and many other publications. At TSL he is charged with exploring black cultural angles where they intersect with the mainstream.