Thursday, November 19, 2009

Black actors are left out of European Couples Retreat film poster

Spotted on Madnews
The international poster promoting the film Couples Retreat (also seen here in Britain and in Holland) does not feature African American actors Faizon Love and Kali Hawk. See the UK version above and the US version below.

In response to the controversy Universal Pictures said, the poster had been changed to ‘simplify’ it for the UK and international market outside America. The studio added that it regretted causing offence and has abandoned plans to use the revised poster in other countries.

I think it's the segregated mind of a US marketer. How does Universal know that black actors on a poster will frighten a "European" audience. I don't think they have stats to support it, so it must be just a feeling. To me black and white actors in a film, is a typical American film.

Years a ago I read a book with black and white people on the cover. I actually thought I was reading an American book, but when I finish it, it turned out to be a book from a Scottish publisher who wanted to make his book look like an American book.

So this is Universal nonsense.


  1. Not really shocked by this at all. American media tends to think that race relations around the world are similar to the U.S. There has long been this assumption that white American audiences wouldn't patronize Black themed movies or films starring Black actors but what accounts for the commerical success of movies starring Will Smith, Denzel Washington or Halle Berry. Or better yet, Tyler Perry's Madea franchise would have never grown without white audiences.

    So yes, I think this was blatantly racist and actually quite insulting to non-American audiences by assuming they (Universal) knew how Black actors would be received by audiences abroad.

  2. You're right about the non-American audiences. I wonder how Faizon Love and Kali Hawk must feel.

  3. This is sad. And I saw Couples Retreat the other day via the internet. I wasn't impressed with the movie at all either. I was a bit annoyed with the stereotypical depiction of Faizon Love's new girlfriend.

  4. that is so wrong....makes me sad..

  5. When I read this piece I was shocked, and checked the poster for the movie right away. However, at my local theatre they showed the poster with the complete cast. In Holland the poster was the same as the American one posted above. I guess we received the posters after the complaints.
    About the movie... I rather write about the poster than the movie ;) The movie was a drag.


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