In "X-Men: Apocalypse," the X-Men go up against an ancient evil mutant called Apocalypse, but Fox has gotten involved in a different kind of conflict over the film. On Thursday, "Planet Terror" star Rose McGowan called the studio out for a billboard that shows Apocalypse choking Mystique, saying that it depicts casual violence against women.
"There is a major problem when the men and women at 20th Century Fox think casual violence against women is the way to market a film," McGowan told The Hollywood Reporter. "There is no context in the ad, just a woman getting strangled. The fact that no one flagged this is offensive and frankly, stupid. The geniuses behind this, and I use that term lightly, need to 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?"
Following THR's story on the subject, Fox released an official apology regarding the billboard on Friday: "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. Once we realized how insensitive it was, we quickly took steps to remove those materials. We apologize for our actions and would never condone violence against women."