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Couples Retreat – Nu Metro’s Mistake

December 3, 2009 2 comments

Last night I went to Nu Metro to watch a film. The experience was a shocker (read more here) but I also noticed a small mistake in their signage.

A couple of weeks ago there was a huge uproar in the UK over the release of posters for the latest Vince Vaughn film – Couples Retreat. The film is about four couples – three of them are white and one is black. In the US the promotional poster included all four couples, but the poster in the UK featured only three couples. Can you guess which one was removed? The black one… obviously. Universal Pictures responded to the outcry saying that they wanted to ‘simplify the poster for foreign markets’ by focusing on internationally recognised actors. Unfortunately this meant leaving off the lesser known black actors. To be honest I feel a little sorry for Universal – focusing on recognised actors in international markets makes sense, and no one would have said a word if they’d left of a white couple. Unfortunately you just can’t afford to mess around with something as sensitive as racial discrimination.

So anyway, walking out of my movie last night I notice that Nu Metro has just put up posters for Couples Retreat and guess which version they’ve used. Yup, only three couples to be seen. Now what I find most annoying about this isn’t that Nu Metro is being deliberately racist – because they aren’t. The thing that irks me is that they are just plain ignorant. The guys at Nu Metro are so out of the film industry loop that they probably haven’t even heard of the issues in the UK. It’s just another black mark on the quality of our cinema – we just show the films to make cash, we aren’t that interested in any of the other stuff.

Incidentally, I also checked their website today. It seems the online version is the correct one. Why can’t we have a bit of consistency?

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