If you’ve been by a movie theater lately—or taken public transit in a major American city—you’ve probably seen the promotional billboards for the recently released X-Men: Apocalypse. You know the ones: they feature big, widescreen shots of Oscar Isaac, decidedly not in “Star Wars Internet Boyfriend Mode,” grabbing America’s blue-skinned sweetheart, Jennifer Lawrence, by the throat.
Responses to the campaign—which, again, depicts a giant man physically overpowering and strangling a functionally naked woman—have been outspoken and negative. Among several others, actress Rose McGowan—who made headlines recently with a potentially career-damaging outcry against sexist casting notices—called out 20th Century Fox for approving the imagery, or thinking that “casual violence against women is the way to market a film.”
Someone at Fox apparently agrees, or at least agrees that they want people to stop yelling at them about this stuff, as the studio released a statement today apologizing for the campaign. “In our enthusiasm to show the villainy of the character Apocalypse we didn’t immediately recognize the upsetting connotation of this image in print form,” the studio said, with “immediately” apparently meaning “until somebody called us out on it loud enough, a week after the movie came out.” “Once we realized how insensitive it was,” the statement continues, “We quickly took steps to remove those materials. We apologize for our actions and would never condone violence against women.”