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UPDATE: Lionsgate To Pull Italian '12 Years A Slave' Posters Following Controversy + Apology

by Sergio
December 24, 2013 8:42 AM
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Italian 12 Years posters

Forgive me for bragging, but I like to think we had a major part in this latest development.

But Variety is reporting that Lionsgate has announced that they will be pulling those controversial Italian Brad Pitt/Michael Fassbender 12 Years A Slave posters after howls of protest from people. No doubt after my piece yesterday. I had no idea I was so powerful.

A spokesman for Lionsgate, whose Summit distribution arm label is releasing the film in Italy, said that:

The ’12 Years a Slave’ theatrical posters featuring Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender that were recently released in Italy were unauthorized and were not approved by any of the producers or licensors of the film. Summit Entertainment, acting as exclusive sales agent for the licensors, is investigating and taking immediate action to stop the distribution of any unauthorized posters and to have those posters currently in the marketplace recalled.

But seriously all credit should go to the Tumblr blog Carefree Black Girl, which first posted the images of the Italian posters for 12 Years that caught our attention.

But this does beg the question: were these posters really “unauthorized and…not approved” as they claim, or is this a convenient excuse after people expressed shock and outrage about them? 

UPDATE: Today BIM Distribuzine, which worked with the marketing company Fanatical About Cinema in creating the posters, and for which Lionsgate/Summit was acting as the film's Italian sales agents, issued an apology for the posters saying that: “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 All inappropriate materials have now been withdrawn.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.

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  • buju | December 27, 2013 6:30 PMReply

    Sergio's joking, right? I can't tell since S&A be wildin sometimes. Like when Tambay thought McQueen changed the "Shame" screenplay based on his blog post. Hilarious.

  • Aw sht | December 29, 2013 10:46 AM

    dont expect consistancy from miss carrie. he says whatever an pretends to be whoever to make himself feel right then turns around and says the opposite in the next convo. so yea he say he lick sergio balls because he works hard, but if we talkin about a hard worker the coon dont like he dint have a problem tearing them down. he is garbage

  • buju | December 28, 2013 9:37 AM

    Lmao! So because a person works hard and is popular, they should be free from criticism? That exempts almost every celebrity, filmmaker, politician, world leader and basically everyone in the public eye. So next time a Paula Deen says the "n-word" Imma use CC logic and say "But guys?! Do you know how hard she works?!?!"

    But keep riding that dick, CC. It's cute.

  • CareyCarey | December 28, 2013 4:53 AM

    @AW SHT, you have it all wrong. Unlike you, I don't mind giving praise and showing appreciation for the hard and stellar work of Sergio and Tambay. Therefore, unlike you and your boys, I don't understand the mindsets of those who pick & poke at their work, in an attempt to tear them down.

    Listen, do you know the time and effort Tambay puts into this blog? If not, check out the other IndieWire contributor and compare his output to theirs. If you're still confused, just imagine the research one must do in order to display ONE post. Now add commentary (well written commentary) to that post. Now, do it two or more times in that same day. Now, the next day, do it all over again. Yep, that's a job most cannot handle.

    Look, nobody that I know (or have seen on the internet) does it better than Mr. Obenson. So if you consider me a ass licker for defending them and/or "supporting" them, then super-size me... and you're in the wrong line.

    And granted, I have championed Sergio on several occasion, but again, nobody does it like him, and I am not ashamed to tell him when he's doing a good job. Now if you don't think he's doing a fine job, check the books. Plain and simple, his posts receives the most traffic.

    So get your facts right before talking all nasty.

  • Aw sht | December 27, 2013 11:08 PM

    Woo hoo! right on cue, here come fake ass cc to gargle Sergio's dick! hair many personalties you gon give us today hunty? you want attention soooooo bad. pathetic asslicker.

  • CC | December 27, 2013 9:17 PM

    ...and you know there are those unfortunates who don't know the difference between sarcasm, tongue-n-cheek and when someone is being serious. They are generally messy mess sh*t-starters who find joy in throwing shade on the blog's writers. Yep, only BUJU and "LOL" found reasons to question Tambay and Sergio's intentions, so maybe they are the real circle jerks?

  • Lol | December 27, 2013 6:43 PM

    Now you know those two like to puff themselves up! Just ignore the jerking off an take the news.

  • anon | December 25, 2013 6:03 PMReply

    sorry this is hillarious you have to laugh or cry lol! its so blatent its begges belief! bad pitt doesnt he have two lines in the entire movie and they got him up there looking like jesus?! wow thank god i left europe this is breathtakingly racist!

  • Bforreal | December 27, 2013 3:59 PM

    Agree. As much I dislike the racist b.s. I see everyday here in the states, I don't think those posters would've flown in the states at all, not for minute. Those poster would've either never been put up or would've been pulled in two seconds here in the states. This is one of those moments when I am thankful, as a black person, to live here rather than in Europe (as much as I appreciated Europe during my travels).

  • Malcolmx | December 24, 2013 4:53 PMReply

    I ain't putting these nigg@s on my posters either, these nigg@s don't sell no copies...and Sergio, you ain't sh!t.

  • sergio | December 24, 2013 5:59 PM

    Thank you my darling

  • Miles Maker | December 24, 2013 2:09 PMReply

    Summit Entertainment is the sales agent--which means they sell the film to the territory's buyer, who then designs marketing imagery and cuts the trailer to their liking as they see fit (within reason and contractual fine print) to sell the movie locally as they know best and to recoup their expenditure.

    In this case, that company is BIM is releasing who conceptualized these posters in collaboration with marketing company Fanatical About Cinema. This means the signage may very well be unapproved. Until Lionsgate/Summit is made aware of it, they simply don't have the bandwidth to monitor as many as 60+ potential foreign territories to police the buyers' sales strategies. However for a situation as blatant as this, Lionsgate/Summit is more than willing to 'save face' for this award-winning films and apply pressure to its foreign licensee.

  • Alex | December 24, 2013 1:55 PMReply

    I definitely think it was unauthorised and unapproved. It has happened before, but also it's not racism but ignorance. Italian audiences are not expected to be drawn to see a film with a black british star all over the poster. Brad Pitt and Fassbender however are faces they know and sadly would pay to see. Ignorance created and perpetuated by those who want to sell tickets.

  • Lane | December 24, 2013 11:30 AMReply

    It's entirely possible these posters were 'unapproved'. I work in studio marketing and it happens more than you'd think. You'd have to look at the posters in other territories for this film to see how much they were allowed to veer from the domestic one sheet look. Racist or not, those Italian posters are VERY bad art.

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