Jean Dujardin, recent recipient of the Golden Globes Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical award for The Artist, has been criticized in France for appearing in racy ads for his most recent film, Les Infideles.
The poster's images have been deemed too sexist even in France.
In one of the poster ads, a disheveled Dujardin stands smirking as he tightly holds onto a pair of upside-down legs of a nude woman while a caption reads: I'm walking into a meeting. A second poster depicts Dujardin's co-star, Gilles Lellouche, on the phone and a woman's head at crotch level. The caption reads, The line's going to cut; I'm heading into a tunnel.
At the orders of France's Authority of Professional Regulation of Advertising (ARPP), the advertising company JD Decaux promised to have all posters removed by the end of Friday.
The poster ads are clearly meant to provoke, shock a certain part of the public since they propagate the image of a woman harming her own dignity and decency, the Director of the ARPP, Stéphane Martin, told Agence France Press (AFP).
A third poster in which two men sit and laugh as they watch two women walk away will replace the previous two censured posters.
American newspapers warned that the scandalous posters might cost Dujardin his chance of winning the Oscar nomination for Best Actor in The Artist. On the other hand, French papers somewhat brushed off the incident, going as far as mocking American puritanism.
French news publication, Le Point, recalled the 1991 incident with renowned actor Gérard Depardieu who was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor in Cyrano de Bergerac. Two days before the awards ceremony, rumors spread that Depardieu had once committed a rape.
Though the sexual ads of Dujardin are more tame than the Depardieu rumors, France's renewed sensitivity about sexual innuendo in public sphere could reflect a reaction to the Strauss-Kahn scandal, the Washington Post suggests.
Nonetheless, Dujardin is not the only one getting complaints. In the city of Marseilles, posters of Kate Beckinsale holding two guns for her new movie, Underworld: Awakening, were also taken down. However, censorship of the Beckinsale poster remains specific to Marseilles.