X-Men: Apocalypse has been in UK cinemas for a few weeks now but the film has come right back to the forefront of discussion thanks to this poster.
The promotional banner – which depicts Oscar Isaac’s Apocalypse grasping Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique in a chokehold alongside the tagline “only the strong will survive” – is being used to advertise the film on billboards in various locations.
But while cinema goers have flocked to see the latest instalment in the X-Men franchise, the poster has come under fire with many disappointed that such an image is being used for promotion, among them former Charmed star Rose McGowan.
“There is no context in the ad, just a woman getting strangled. The fact that no one flagged this is offensive and frankly, stupid,” she told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement.
“The geniuses behind this, and I use that term lightly, need 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?”
Fans have taken to social media to criticise the advert.
Why is it that the main drawing point for the new X-Men movie is Apocalypse choking Mystique. Like, it was seriously on a billboard.— ⚡Pzanagi-No-Okami⚡ (@PaulB0x) May 21, 2016
And many expressed their discomfort with the use of an image depicting a male character being violent towards a female character to promote the film.
I really hate that the marketing for X-Men: Apocalypse is focused entirely around that shot of Apocalypse choking Mystique.— Alisha Grauso (@AlishaGrauso) May 13, 2016
Rose McGowan nailed it in the head about that damn ad of Apocalypse choking Mystique pic.twitter.com/7bXKUctOvi— DomoArigatoCat ❤️ (@RealCineaste) June 3, 2016
Someone in New York even slapped sticky notes across a version of the poster to let the world at large know that they were not happy to have this kind of violence “in my child’s face”.
The film’s producers have yet to respond to a request for comment from The Hollywood Reporter.