Paramount Pictures apologized for a poster of its upcoming film “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” which triggered outrage on social media for evoking memories of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
The promotional poster was uploaded by Paramount Pictures Australia to its Twitter account but took it down soon afterward, following widespread criticism from social media users. The new poster showed the four Ninja Turtles jumping down a skyscraper as it exploded, and showed the Australian release date as Sept. 11 2014, which is the thirteenth anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center twin towers in New York that claimed the lives of thousands of people.
"We are deeply sorry to have used that artwork for the marketing materials promoting the September 11 opening in Australia," Paramount Pictures Australia said, in an emailed statement to Reuters. "Combining that image and date was a mistake. We intended no offence and have taken immediate action to discontinue its use."
The studio was criticized by social media users for overlooking the link with the 2001 al-Qaida attack. The studio also removed the poster from its official Facebook page, which has more than six million likes.
The film, which is produced by Michael Bay and directed by Jonathan Liebesman, stars Megan Fox as April O'Neil, Alan Ritchson as Raphael, Noel Fisher as Michelangelo, Jeremy Howard as Donatello and Pete Ploszek as Leonardo.
Here is a look at some of the mixed reactions on social media to the poster:
The 9/11 Ninja Turtles poster is bad, but the original mock-up was 1000x more tasteless. What were they thinking? pic.twitter.com/ngU8xR2ipZ
— Matt Patches (@misterpatches) July 29, 2014
This TMNT 9/11 thing is stupid The poster doesn't even look like the twin towers
— ⭐️Trevor Slattery⭐️ (@TrevSlattery) July 29, 2014
Most of the people complaining probably don't even care about 9/11, they just want to scrutinize Michael Bay
— Alex Lynch (@TheAlexLynch97) July 29, 2014
— Dean Callaway (@Deano_Valentino) July 29, 2014
— Prashant Mistry (@prashant) July 29, 2014
The world is way too freakin' sensitive. This #TMNT poster brouhaha is retarded
— Sir Supercujo (@supercujo) July 30, 2014
— Matt Soffer (@MatthewSoffer) July 29, 2014