why has Anchor Bay dick-washed and whitewashed The Sapphires? (final? update)

UPDATE: I’ve closed comments on this because it’s now doing nothing but bring out trolls.


UPDATE later Tuesday: I make CNN, in a post with the charming headline “Racist, or good marketing?”… cuz really, which is more important? They name me and quote me but don’t link to me. Gee, thanks. And for sanity’s sake, do not read the comments. You’ll need a toothbrush to the brain.

UPDATE Tuesday: Anchor Bay has responded. From Australia’s The Age:

The American distributor of The Sapphires DVD has apologised for causing offence with its choice of cover, and has offered to rethink the artwork for future editions of the film.

In a short statement, distributor Anchor Bay said it “regrets any unintentional upset caused by the upcoming US DVD release of The Sapphires”.

It added that “new cover art is being considered for future replenishment orders”.

That would require, of course, that the initial run sells out.


previous Aug 2 2013

UPDATE Friday: The Australian Daily Telegraph has an article about this issue without mentioning how it learned about it — that is, this very post at FlickFilosopher.com. How do I know they learned of it here? Because they quote commenter singlestick without attributing it at all. Here’s a screengrab (in case they change it):

telegraphquote

Compare with singlestick’s comment.

Not cool, Telegraph. Totally not cool.

UPDATE 2 Friday: Great. The newspaper The Australian also neglects to mention where this story originated.

UPDATE 3 Friday: And a thank-you to the Australian paper The Age, which does credit its sources.


previous Jul 30 2013

The Sapphires — out on DVD in the U.S. and Canada next week — is fantastic. It really is. It is pure cinematic joy. You will love it.

But it is not, as DVD distributor Anchor Bay would have you believe, the story of a white man and his blue-monotone backup singers. It simply isn’t. So what the hell is this on the Region 1 cover?

sapphiresdickwashed

The Sapphires is the story of four young Australian women who form a singing group and travel to Vietnam in the 1960s to entertain the American troops there. Their new manager, who is along for the ride, is indeed a white man. The women are Aborigines. They are black black black black blackety-black black. Not blue. Oh, and they’re women. And this is their story. It’s even a true story.

I adore Chris O’Dowd. And he’s even more wonderful in this movie than he has been in the past. I have nothing against him, at all. (I shouldn’t even need to say this, because it’s completely irrelevant to this matter, but I’m heading off some potential complaints about my complaining.) But the most you can say about his character here is that he is part of an ensemble. He is not the lead character. And he is outweighed in that ensemble by four nonwhite women. So why are they shoved into the background, the color of their skin disguised by that blue monotone?

This is a problem.

Movies about women are rare enough. Movies about black women are even rarer. And now we’re gonna pretend the movies about women, whatever their color, aren’t even about them at all?

UPDATE: Reader Lucy has posted a petition at Change.org to ask Anchor Bay to change the cover. With the Region 1 DVD releasing next week, it’s probably too late at this point to have the desired impact (though future editions could conceivably get a new cover), but it’s still worth letting them know that this is a problem and how unhappy we are about it.

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LaSargenta
LaSargenta
Tue, Jul 30, 2013 4:07pm

Same old, same old.

I suppose the distributor is using the excuse of “but he’s the only famous one”.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  LaSargenta
Tue, Jul 30, 2013 5:22pm

He’s not that famous.

LaSargenta
LaSargenta
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Tue, Jul 30, 2013 5:41pm

Yeah, but he’s more well-known in the US (and I presume UK) than others in the movie.

These people have no imagination and, yes, they are being racist.

RogerBW
RogerBW
Tue, Jul 30, 2013 4:28pm

Why does a company do something? Money, always money. They think they’ll get more sales by hiding the non-white people (and the non-male people, since there isn’t a convenient sexy shot of them) than they’ll lose to people who actually want non-white and non-male protagonists.

And they’re probably correct in that thought.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  RogerBW
Tue, Jul 30, 2013 9:27pm

I’m getting tired of the money “excuse.” Might have a rant coming on…

RogerBW
RogerBW
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Tue, Jul 30, 2013 9:32pm

It seems to me that “making as much money as possible in the short term” is not in itself a particularly laudable goal. Unfortunately we’ve ended up with a system in which many of the more powerful actors are by design incapable of doing anything else.

donaldo
donaldo
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Sun, Aug 04, 2013 7:29am

Business.

Pee Bee
Pee Bee
reply to  RogerBW
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 11:54am

The thing is, there ARE convenient sexy shots of the women – one of the women’s entire character is pretty much built around her confident sexiness. They would still be obviously non-white women, but there’s no shortage of sexy photos they could have used if they wanted to appeal to men’s penises.

misterb
misterb
Tue, Jul 30, 2013 5:31pm

When does anyone see the cover of a DVD these days? I agree that DVD marketing people are slime, but they may be obsolete slime at this point in time. What is the little picture that Netflix is showing?

David C-D
David C-D
reply to  misterb
Tue, Jul 30, 2013 9:41pm

The Netflix picture has Chris O’Dowd front and center, but the ladies are not blue-washed.

singlestick
singlestick
reply to  misterb
Tue, Jul 30, 2013 11:33pm

Just out of curiosity, I went to the Amazon Instant Video site to see if this film was there. It is, and it uses the same, crappy, misleading, blue-rinse cover art with Chris O’Dowd front and center. So, it’s not just an issue of DVD marketing.

Geoff LaTulippe
Geoff LaTulippe
Tue, Jul 30, 2013 7:37pm

Sigh. Why is it that we can’t fight the battles that are really worth fighting when it comes to misogyny in Hollywood?

This isn’t a matter of whitewashing or dickwashing (seriously, give me a fucking break) a movie. It’s a matter of marketing and getting people to buy the goddamned DVD in the first place. It’s an Australian movie releasing in North America. In North America, Chris O’Dowd is the only actor who is recognizable – and he’s pretty popular, thanks to BRIDESMAIDS. No one else in the film – terrific as they may be – would register one iota with 99% of North Americans. Therein, there is ZERO reason to put ANYONE else on the cover for ANY reason. Because fuck women? Because fuck black people? No. Because the directors, writers and producers and everyone else involved with the film WANT IT TO MAKE MONEY AND BE SEEN BY PEOPLE.

This happens all the time. Check the bargain bin wherever DVDs are sold – older films with (now) major stars in tiny supporting roles are now repackaged with their faces prominently on the covers all the time. Why? Because no one would buy them on just about any other occasion. Is this sneaky? Sure. Is it racist or misogynistic? For Christ’s sake, no.

Get pissed about the whitewashing in LAST AIRBENDER. Get pissed that women direct 10% of studio films. Get pissed that many TV writing staffs have few, if any, women. Don’t focus words and effort on this positively trite bullshit. When you’re getting angry just to get angry, you’re pissing into the wind, and you’re the one getting wet.

Danielm80
Danielm80
reply to  Geoff LaTulippe
Tue, Jul 30, 2013 8:34pm

Sigh. Just because we can explain why a problem exists doesn’t mean it’s not a problem. If someone produced a DVD of Love Happy with a giant picture of Marilyn Monroe on the cover and a tiny image of the Marx brothers behind her, a lot of customers would complain that it was misleading, and they would be right. This DVD is worse, because it’s one of the few movies with interesting, substantial roles for women of color. Some people are desperate to find films like that, and this cover hides the movie from them.

We all know why the studio did it. People rationalize all kinds of things by saying, “We needed the money.” But it’s an excuse, not a defense.

There are bigger battles to fight. For example, it would be great to see more movies with interesting, substantial roles for women of color. But sometimes the little battles are worth fighting, too. And when a film like this comes out, it’s worth fighting to let people know.

Geoff LaTulippe
Geoff LaTulippe
reply to  Danielm80
Tue, Jul 30, 2013 8:37pm

If you feel the need to waste your efforts on this, it’s your playground..

Max
Max
reply to  Geoff LaTulippe
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 11:02am

well you’re certainly doing a good job at that!!

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Geoff LaTulippe
Tue, Jul 30, 2013 9:31pm

Guess what? You don’t get to tell me which battles I should fight and which battles I shouldn’t fight. You don’t want to fight them? Fine. No one is asking you to. But you don’t get to decide which battles *other people* should or shouldn’t find worthy.

And either this is the only post you’ve ever seen at this site, in which case you have no idea what other battles I’m fighting, or you’re perfectly aware of the other battles I’m fighting and you’re simply being obnoxious.

So seriously, give *me* a fucking break.

Geoff Latulippe
Geoff Latulippe
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Mon, Aug 05, 2013 8:11pm

This is always the whining excuse of someone having their views challenged. “Don’t tell me what I can and can’t do!” As if I did that, or I’m someone that has the power to do such a thing. I didn’t and I can’t, so put the straw man to bed.

Your argument is tenuous at best and ignores the realities of how foreign films are distributed for the home video market. If you’re OK pressing forward knowing that, be my guest. All I’ve suggested is that it’s YOU who’ll be taken less seriously for your efforts. So knock yourself out. I just find it worth calling out people who complain ignorantly about the industry in which I actually work and attempt to ascribe nefarious qualities to otherwise hardworking people. Ditto to the people who think their anecdotal “evidence” (“Hey, I don’t know who Chris O’Dowd is, so that probably means NO ONE DOES!”) somehow gives them any clue about this issue.

And, just FYI, I HAVE only read one article on your site, and that’s all I’ll ever read. Not only was this rant hackneyed and ill-informed, it was also played off with emotion over common sense and annoyingly written (which is where MY “give me a fucking break” came from – that painfully amateur “dick-washing” line). So my guess is that you’ve got the lockdown on obnoxious, and far be it for me to encroach on your territory.

Bluejay
Bluejay
reply to  Geoff Latulippe
Mon, Aug 05, 2013 8:31pm

All I’ve suggested is that it’s YOU who’ll be taken less seriously for your efforts.

And yet, her article has, attributed or not, been picked up by the newspapers mentioned at the beginning of this post, as well as several others. It has come to the attention of Chris O’Dowd himself, who says the cover is “vile.” And the original Sapphires themselves think the DVD cover is racist.

So much for people who complain about this issue not being taken seriously. Try again.

Geoff LaTulippe
Geoff LaTulippe
reply to  Bluejay
Mon, Aug 05, 2013 8:35pm

Try again? I made my point, and you clearly missed it.

Bluejay
Bluejay
reply to  Geoff LaTulippe
Mon, Aug 05, 2013 9:01pm

Nah, I didn’t miss your point, but you’re the one missing the point made by others.

the industry in which I actually work … attempt to ascribe nefarious qualities to otherwise hardworking people …

Ahhh, now it comes out. You’re feeling personally attacked.

Sometimes actions are racist and sexist in effect even if they aren’t racist or sexist in overt intent. It’s worth pointing out those actions when they happen, and doing what we can to change the underlying cultural attitudes that allow such actions to be seen as normal, acceptable, and inevitable.

When survivors of racism complain that the movie about their lives is being marketed in a racist manner, perhaps the movie’s marketers shouldn’t dismiss their concerns so glibly and easily.

Geoff LaTulippe
Geoff LaTulippe
reply to  Bluejay
Mon, Aug 05, 2013 10:44pm

Actually, I’m not being attacked at all. I’m…not sure how you got that. The point I was making is that it’s very easy and depressingly lazy for those working outside the bounds of the industry to cast stones at people who are just doing their jobs. You can try to make that into something else if you want, I guess.

And thank you for the lesson, Professor. I’m quite aware of accidental racism/sexism, and I’m not even remotely arguing your point. What I take issue with is the author’s attempt to accuse a group of people of INTENDED racism/sexism, despite her awkward attempts to obfuscate it.

But thanks for playing? You guys are running out of talking points, though.

Bluejay
Bluejay
reply to  Geoff LaTulippe
Mon, Aug 05, 2013 11:41pm

“Just doing their jobs” seems to be your own talking point, and you beat that into the ground quite some time ago. I’m sure you’re aware that “just doing their jobs” is a pretty weak excuse for a lot of things.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Geoff Latulippe
Mon, Aug 05, 2013 10:00pm

All I’ve suggested is that it’s YOU who’ll be taken less seriously for your efforts.

Ah, a concern troll. You’re very considerate to be so worried about my reputation.

Geoff LaTulippe
Geoff LaTulippe
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Mon, Aug 05, 2013 10:40pm

You confuse “being concerned” with “making a point” (confusion seems a preferred state of being on this blog). And to reduce me to a troll rather than to look back at your mess of an argument objectively is…well, it appears to be par for the course around these parts. Not real surprised by any of it, though.

KingNewbs
reply to  Geoff LaTulippe
Wed, Aug 07, 2013 5:13pm

You’ve reduced yourself to a troll, my son. Resist the urge to have the last word on this and prove otherwise.

Your arguments are made, and answered. Whether the answers satisfy you is not a metric for winning. You’ve taken a stand here on foreign soil. Now, your points made (so very eloquently), fuck off.

Rob Galbraith
Rob Galbraith
reply to  Geoff LaTulippe
Wed, Jul 31, 2013 5:51am

Sorry, but no.

1. I am from North America and I have no clue who Chris O’Dowd is. I didn’t recognize him at all.

2.
What caught my eye on this cover was the women in the background
because it channelled The Supremes and Dreamgirl. I would add that the
advertisements for Dreamgirl didn’t have a white man prominent on their
cover.

3. I am with MaryAnn in picking my own battles thank you
very much. I will choose to be angry when I want. And ain’t nobody
pissing into wind here. Sorry about your shoes though.

4. I could
give less of a rat’s ass what directors and producers want. If they’re
going to dare to use the words “based on a true story” perhaps they
should be true in what they are selling (I know… novel concept…) If
the story about these women is truly interesting, you don’t need to
dickwash it. If they are going to whitewash it, there could have been
any other number of ways.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Rob Galbraith
Wed, Jul 31, 2013 9:05am

This is a *far* more accurate representation of the film. Even to the degree that some of the women have more prominent arcs than others (as you would expect with so many characters to juggle).

LaSargenta
LaSargenta
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Wed, Jul 31, 2013 6:19pm

Yup. Waaaaaaay better.

(I really enjoyed this movie, by the way.)

Max
Max
reply to  Geoff LaTulippe
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 11:01am

what a load of bullshit!!

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  Geoff LaTulippe
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 5:08pm

I had no idea words were a limited resource.

LaSargenta
LaSargenta
reply to  Dr. Rocketscience
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 5:35pm

Didn’t you get the memo? The Government Organizational Board of Bundling Literary Exegesis (GOBBLE) issued that last year.

donaldo
donaldo
reply to  Dr. Rocketscience
Sun, Aug 04, 2013 7:24am

Attention is.

KingNewbs
reply to  donaldo
Wed, Aug 07, 2013 5:16pm

Man… @MaryAnnJohanson:disqus can we just disable Guest comments from now on or something?

Steven Peterson
Steven Peterson
Tue, Jul 30, 2013 8:00pm

lol, truly this is a cause worth fighting for, HA!

Farmer Waltz
Farmer Waltz
Tue, Jul 30, 2013 8:21pm

Wouldn’t this technically be blue-washing? Smurf-washing? Ah, screw it…

Kris
Kris
Tue, Jul 30, 2013 9:16pm

Is the movie really that good? I saw the trailer and was so annoyed that it focused so thoroughly on the character development of the white male manager when it was theoretically supposed to be telling the story of the career of four ladies of color that I resolved not to see it entirely. This poster isn’t helping that impression at all. Does the movie itself focus properly on their lives and stories?

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Kris
Tue, Jul 30, 2013 9:32pm

Yes, the movie truly is about the women.

Georgia247
Georgia247
reply to  Kris
Wed, Jul 31, 2013 4:33pm

It’s magnificent and beautiful. You will cry. Chris is good but he is not the main character and sad that people may not see it thinking its about his character. Both the real women from the story and the women who play them are incredible.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Georgia247
Wed, Jul 31, 2013 7:53pm

I bawled. Both times I saw it.

Hannah Armstrong
Hannah Armstrong
reply to  Kris
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 9:10am

The film does tell the story of real band, The Sapphires, and is based on the stage musical of the same name.

beckgwen
beckgwen
reply to  Kris
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 10:16am

The movie IS that good. The trailer you have seen is misleading. The movie really focuses on their journey from Cummeragunja to Vietnam and the relationships that are both healed and formed along the way. It also touches on the Stolen Generation, although to a person not aware of that particular history it would appear to be the simple separation of a child from loved ones. Also, this film is BASED on the true story – in ‘real-life’ there were only TWO members of the Sapphires who travelled to Vietnam to sing for the soldiers.

donaldo
donaldo
reply to  Kris
Sun, Aug 04, 2013 7:20am

Good question. My brother and I both shut our eyes and cover our ears when the trailers come on in the cinema. We don’t read reviews until after seeing a film. I ask friends of course, but don’t let them tell me plot details. Trust your instincts and see who made the thing. That’s usually enough.

singlestick
singlestick
Tue, Jul 30, 2013 9:34pm

The cover makes the women look like Chris O’Dowd’s backup singers. Maybe O’Dowd’s managers have a lot of clout to get him on the cover. Maybe the studio’s marketing department is asinine (more likely). O’Dowd may be marginally more recognizable than the other actors in the film, but I didn’t know him from a bum on the street. I never saw “Bridesmaids.” On the other hand, I had heard about this film, and would be interested in seeing it.

But if I glanced at the cover of the DVD at the store, I would think that this was some other movie called “The Sapphires” and not the story of the female singers.

And yeah, the shading does seem to try to hide the fact that the women are women of color.

Bottom line, the cover is not only dishonest, but might confuse people who are specifically looking for this film. Imagine if a DVD of “A Hard Day’s Night” had manager Brian Epstein in the foreground, and the Beatles in the background, barely recognizable.

andrewjgrimm
andrewjgrimm
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 6:04am

Not so much blue-monotone as *sapphire*-monotone?

Also, while black women being in the entertainment industry is fairly uncommon in Australia, it wouldn’t be that uncommon in America. Maybe whoever made that cover wasn’t knowledgeable enough about Australia to know this. Which in itself is would be problematic, but a different problem to what you’re describing.

LaSargenta
LaSargenta
reply to  andrewjgrimm
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 3:59pm

Maybe black women in the entertainment industry are more common in the US (as part of “America”), but them getting whitewashed out of prominent positions in the marketing materials is also woefully common.

andrewjgrimm
andrewjgrimm
reply to  LaSargenta
Sat, Aug 03, 2013 11:10am

Oops – I usually don’t use “America” when referring to the US. Ironically, I probably used it because I’m learning Japanese, and the most common Japanese word for the US is アメリカ (Amerika).

cameronhorsburgh
cameronhorsburgh
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 8:32am

I probably should point out that ‘Aborigines’ is spelt with a capital ‘A’. Just like ‘Australian’ and ‘American’ are.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  cameronhorsburgh
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 9:23am

I didn’t realize that. Thanks for letting me know. I’ve corrected the post.

cameronhorsburgh
cameronhorsburgh
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 9:32am

Great, thanks for that! It’s amazing how often people will refuse to see the point.

(And looking at my post I realise it might have seemed a bit brusque and snarky. It certainly wasn’t intended that way, but apologies if any offence was caused!)

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  cameronhorsburgh
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 5:01pm

No offense taken.

Rebecca Healy
Rebecca Healy
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 10:18am

actually, the preferred terms are ‘Aboriginal people’ or Indigenous Australians – most Aboriginal people find the term ‘Aborigine’ a bit patronising and offensive. Love this post by the way :)

LaSargenta
LaSargenta
reply to  Rebecca Healy
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 3:17pm

OT question to Rebecca or others w/ the knowledge: Are there different nations and languages among the Indigenous Australians as among the First Nations in the Americas? I’ve been wondering this for a while and keep neglecting to seek out the answer. (I’m in N. America, no regular cultural contact w/ Aus.)

JonathanMaddox
JonathanMaddox
reply to  LaSargenta
Fri, Aug 02, 2013 2:24am
LaSargenta
LaSargenta
reply to  JonathanMaddox
Fri, Aug 02, 2013 2:14pm

Thanks for the link.

cameronhorsburgh
cameronhorsburgh
reply to  LaSargenta
Fri, Aug 02, 2013 3:58am

Definitely—when white people first came here there were approximately 600 languages being spoken in Australia by distinct people groups. Many of those languages still survive, and more have pidginised with other languages to form new languages.

LaSargenta
LaSargenta
reply to  cameronhorsburgh
Fri, Aug 02, 2013 2:12pm

Thanks.

Rebecca Healy
Rebecca Healy
reply to  LaSargenta
Fri, Aug 02, 2013 6:03pm

Looks like Cameron beat me to it, from the 600 there are about 60 still spoken today. There is work to encourage Aboriginal children to be bilingual now, historically their languages were forbidden and there was a sustained effort to make them assimilate and reject their history and culture – they were made to feel ashamed of their Aboriginal heritage, so this whitewash could definitely be offensive. This period in history was only a year after the country voted to include them in the census – actual people rather than fauna.

LaSargenta
LaSargenta
reply to  Rebecca Healy
Fri, Aug 02, 2013 6:41pm

…actual people rather than fauna

Funny you should say that. Here, there’s this entity called the Bureau of Indian Affairs which, despite supposedly being an agency dedicated to administration of treaties with people, is a part of the Department of the Interior which exists to administer “natural resources”. The Bureau of Indian Education is also under the DOI.

Hannah Armstrong
Hannah Armstrong
reply to  LaSargenta
Sat, Aug 03, 2013 4:29pm

In Australia, Aboriginal people were “protected” under the ‘Flora and Fauna Act.’ Right up until 1966, the year my mother was born. As well as now being included in census data, we were now Official Citizens in a country our ancestors had walked for tens of thousands of years.
As other commenters have noted, some state governments have taken a better turn in promoting bilingua, but even that has been largely due to the work of communities and grass-roots groups.

Jay
Jay
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 8:43am

Because Chris O’Dowd is a sellable name in Region One. Unfortunate, but nothing more

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Jay
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 9:19am

That’s a bullshit excuse. Advertising writers and designers get paid a ton of money because they’re supposedly extremely creative and imaginative. They can’t come up with a way to sell the film that accurately represents it? Ridiculous.

ScottyEnn
ScottyEnn
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Fri, Aug 02, 2013 11:52am

It is, indeed, a bullshit excuse. Sadly, I’m pretty sure that ‘creative’, ‘imaginative’ and ‘advertising’ are words that don’t go together nearly as often as they should.

donaldo
donaldo
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Sun, Aug 04, 2013 7:12am

That’s also a bullshit take on the advertising industry. Even the synopses on DVD back covers rarely relate to the story. And yes, I work in advertising, it pains me too.

Josh
Josh
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 8:44am

Chris O’Dowd is the only one who has something of a name in America though… Even if he is merely “that guy” in This is 40, the IT Crowd, The Boat that Rocked and Bridesmaids. It’s by no means uncommon to put the biggest name first and foremost, and he would certainly be more recognizable to Americans than someone who’s been on Playschool or won Australian Idol

Hannah Armstrong
Hannah Armstrong
reply to  Josh
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 9:09am

So why place the four Aboriginal women & stars behind him, and behind a blue filter? It’s not good enough for it to simply be the norm (which, as we all know, is permanent and unchanging across all time and places, ever).

Daniel Ralph
Daniel Ralph
reply to  Hannah Armstrong
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 9:28am

Well obviously the blue isn’t about covering up their appearance – it’s simply the colour of sapphire. That’s just my input.

Hannah Armstrong
Hannah Armstrong
reply to  Daniel Ralph
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 9:30am

Okay – there is definitely a visual link, that much is obvious. So..why not have Chris O’Dowd blue-rinsed? Or just leave the rinse off because everyone on the cover is already wearing sapphire-blue clothes.

Josh
Josh
reply to  Hannah Armstrong
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 3:42pm

Because he’s foregrounded. I will admit though… the monochrome background is bordering on dodgy – doctoring people’s skin colour has been done plenty of times – such as making O.J. Simpson to appear darker and then more “menacing”, while Beyonce is often “lightened up” to appear more marketable. That is quite a sad reflection.
I do however give this poster the benefit of the doubt in regards to the O’Dowd foregrounding.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Daniel Ralph
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 3:17pm

That might just barely be plausible if we hadn’t seen this same thing done MANY times before: rendering nonwhite actors in a monochrome in order to disguise the fact that they’re not white.

Josh
Josh
reply to  Hannah Armstrong
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 3:13pm

Did you listen to what I said? I said it’s a marketing decision, not a racial one. People are more likely to watch a movie with a recognisable cast member – why wouldn’t you foreground the recognisable one?
It’s happened time and time again – Marlin Brando only appeared for 20 minutes in the 3 hour long Apocalypse Now but the posters were all branded around him and his name. And before you saying O’Dowd isn’t a Brando (an obvious statement), consider the comparative pulling power. Brando is to Martin Sheen (the lead role in Apocalypse Now) what O’Dowd is to Mauboy in America.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Josh
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 3:18pm

Marketing that caters to racists and sexists *is* racist and sexist.

Josh
Josh
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 3:30pm

Again, you’ve covered your ears and refused to hear my argument. Mauboy and the other leads are not famous in America – period. Is that because they’re black? No, it’s because they’re minor actors in Australia who have nothing of an international career. O’Dowd is put at the front because people prefer to watch a movie with actors they know. How does that make Americans racist?

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  Josh
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 4:15pm

Josh, everyone hears your argument just fine. They think you’re way underestimating the role of casual racism and sexism in the design. And they’re pointing to well-established history to back up their argument. That history of racist practices in advertising won’t just go away simply because you stomp your feet and will it so.

FWIW, everything that you’re pointing to as rationales for the design are correct, but it is also incomplete without noting that this is something that gets done to women and minority actors. Advertisers will make design choices, in an effort to appeal to a narrower demographic, that diminishes the role of such actors in their films.

The possibility that the ad designers are not being deliberately racist and sexist, at best, only diminishes the degree of the racism/sexism.

donaldo
donaldo
reply to  Dr. Rocketscience
Sun, Aug 04, 2013 7:08am

A brilliant voice of reason!

LaSargenta
LaSargenta
reply to  donaldo
Sun, Aug 04, 2013 1:13pm

Interesting. Looks to me that you’ve praised Dr. R and corrected me above while Dr. R and I are saying slightly different things on the same side of the discussion. Pourquoi?

plumumba
plumumba
reply to  Josh
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 4:17pm

Because I don’t think chris o’dowd has the star power in america to make it not be a thing about race and sex. It has a white male on the cover because the most interest white males have in women/non-whites would be if the story is about a white man and how he either profits from or sexually uses them so they crassly play to the patriarchal norms with the cover, no matter the content of the film. It is all about women hating (in a subtle way, just like the million other ways women are put down)

LaSargenta
LaSargenta
reply to  plumumba
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 5:17pm

Sums it up.

I’d add to your post this: “It has a white male on the cover because of the assumption that the most interest white males have in women/non-white…”

donaldo
donaldo
reply to  LaSargenta
Sun, Aug 04, 2013 7:07am

ahem… a white man helped make the group what it is. So reality (no pun intended) reflects the film. The marketing of such simply reinforces all the problems in our culture that still exist.

LaSargenta
LaSargenta
reply to  donaldo
Sun, Aug 04, 2013 1:11pm

Have you seen this movie? He is not the main character. He is not central. He is part of an ensemble. He doesn’t even appear until a good 20 min into the film, disappears from it for a bit later.

And obviously the marketing reinforces the problems that exist. That’s what’s being discussed here.

singlestick
singlestick
reply to  Josh
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 4:58pm

RE: Again, you’ve covered your ears and refused to hear my argument.

People hear your argument, and reject it because it is clearly wrong. The cover doesn’t simply put O’Dowd in the front. It makes it appear that he is the lead singer and the women are his backup singers. Period. It gives a false sense of what the film is about, as even defenders of the poster admit. Further, there are other examples of graphic art for this film that still give O’Dowd a prominent place without displacing the women in the film, and which give a better idea of what the film is about.

Josh
Josh
reply to  singlestick
Fri, Aug 02, 2013 8:42am

Well, at least you have given me a decent rebuttal. Why doesn’t this have more thumbs up then comments where people jump to call all Americans racist? And yes, people have either misrepresented my arguments before, or twisted them into their own version. E.g.: Marketing that caters to racists and sexists *is* racist and sexist.
That was in response to me saying why O’Dowd recieved top billing, because he is the biggest star in the film. Note how it has either ignored my point that O’Dowd is the biggest star. Either that or…? What? I’d like someone to explain it to me? Are they denying he’s the biggest star in the film? Do they think it’s racist that he’s appeared in more Hollywood films?
The fact that if it is a false sense of what the film is about doesn’t make it racist. Call it irresponsible, yada yada yada but honestly, don’t jump to the conclusion that it’s racist. I do agree that it does give a false representation, but is that a crime? Should it be a crime?

singlestick
singlestick
reply to  Josh
Fri, Aug 02, 2013 8:12pm

RE: That was in response to me saying why O’Dowd recieved top billing, because he is the biggest star in the film.

Again, the point is that you are simply wrong. The original marketing for the film did not place O’Dowd front-and-center. And he is at best a mid-level star in the US, not particularly well known. Yes, more well known than the women actors in the film, but still hardly a well known commodity.

But it is clearly not about O’Dowd or his filmography, so your question “Do they think it’s racist that he’s appeared in more Hollywood films?” is simply irrelevant. You should also dispense with the hyperbole “should it be a crime?” nonsense. Something can be unethical and distasteful and worthy of condemnation even if it is not criminal.

You might better have written about the possible desperation in the marketing. “The Sapphires” did well in Australia and was often well reviewed elsewhere, but it failed at the box office in many markets. So, yeah, it is likely that some of the marketing was a last-ditch effort to appeal to people who know O’Dowd. But since the film is specifically about the women and their struggle to find some fame, it is yes, racist, sexist and UNCREATIVE to fall back on the lame misdirection that the marketers have tried here.

donaldo
donaldo
reply to  singlestick
Sun, Aug 04, 2013 7:01am

Please. Someone who has starred in Bridesmaids and Friends with Kids is as well known as an Australian soap star and musician and to unknowns?

singlestick
singlestick
reply to  donaldo
Sun, Aug 04, 2013 6:37pm

RE: Someone who has starred in Bridesmaids…

O’Dowd is not the star of “Bridesmaids,” nor does he appear on the cover art for that movie. He is even listed well down before other performers in the IMDB listing of the film.

But it is not about O’Dowd or the marketer’s attempt to use him as marketing bait. The cover does not simply trade on his supposed greater fame; it is misleading, and makes it appear as though he is the lead singer of the group.

Here is why the cover is crap: the marketers said, “OK, we have a movie about 4 Aboriginal women singers fighting a’gainst marginalization. So, let’s marginalize them.” This stinks because it is cynical, uncreative, and racist and sexist. And because it violates the spirit of the film that they are trying to sell. So let’s add stupid to everything else.

And coming back to Bridesmaids. Let’s say that the studios decided that even though John Hamm has only a small role in the film, he should be on the cover of the DVD art because he is more well known than most of the other women actors in the film. Most people would howl because of the sexism and brain dead marketing.

Same thing with this sorry exercise in crappy marketing for The Sapphires.

Damian Barajas
Damian Barajas
reply to  Josh
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 5:06pm

“How does that make Americans racist?”
Josh, you should really think on this for a while.

I would recommend asking yourself the following questions:
Q: Are American’s (I mean the people who live in the United States of America, not all the people on the continent of America) racist?
A: You might not like the answer to this.

Q: How does racism rear its ugly head in business, specifically advertising?

If you start with the assumption that you yourself are not racist, and you understand how a “business decision” like this makes economic sense to you as well, then you are automatically blinded to the social repercussions of things done purely for money.
You are blind to all but the most overt expressions of racism, and are not aware of how it is institutionalized and how it is protected from change.
Consider it.

Josh
Josh
reply to  Damian Barajas
Fri, Aug 02, 2013 8:34am

And you think I’m being offensive? You’ve made the broad, sweeping statement that Americans (yes, as everyone knows, is the colloquial term for residents of the U.S. of A.) are racist. What an offensive statement to Americans.
Wow. It’s funny how we like to think how progressive we are while we only gave Aboriginals the right to vote in the late 60s while similar rights were achieved earlier in the United States.
I’m much more inclined to believe the “washing out” argument – which has happened in the past with O.J. Simpson and Beyonce – who have had their images either darkened or lightened for various media purposes.
However, just because something is done for money doesn’t mean it has sinister purposes… It might represent an unfair image of the movie but it is by no means AUTOMATICALLY racist. Again, I’ll recall my previous points that similarly, other actors who have had very minimal roles in films have recieved top billing: Brad Pitt in Killing them Softly, Marlon Brando in just about ANY film in the later half of his career. They didn’t jump black people, but whites as well.
I think you have to sit back and analyse some things first before jumping to a conclusion that it is based on race – that is a serious accusation, as much as it is a serious offence.

Damian Barajas
Damian Barajas
reply to  Josh
Fri, Aug 02, 2013 6:17pm

You think I was calling you racist? I didn’t.
(I’ll put aside my own experiences in your country. A place with good people but with a lot of systems in place set to discriminate solely on physical traits.)

I said that identifying as non racist makes you blind to racism.
A good argument for this is your defense of the term “American”® while avoiding the obvious implication to privilege I was making.

“Just because something is done for money doesn’t mean it has sinister purposes…”
You seem to be saying that having good intentions automatically leads to good actions.
But we both know that’s a straw man at best.

It doesn’t matter if its being done for whatever some people call, “good reasons”. What is the effect it has on reality?

Anyway, answer me this.
if it was wrong to falsely imply that Brando and Pitt starred in their respective movies, why is it right to put O’Dowd up front in this one?

Oh, so they’re both wrong?
Well, this one’s misleading. And racist to boot.

Wait, its being done for money?
Oh that makes it all right then.

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  Damian Barajas
Fri, Aug 02, 2013 11:32pm

You seem to be saying that having good intentions automatically leads to good actions.But we both know that’s a straw man at best.

Unless you’re Orson Scott Card. Then it’s the basis for a best selling series of science fiction novels.

Tonio Kruger
reply to  Dr. Rocketscience
Sat, Aug 03, 2013 7:42pm

It must be nice to live in a world where Orson Scott Card is the only person who comes to mind when you talk about good intentions automatically leading to good actions. :-)

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  Tonio Kruger
Sun, Aug 04, 2013 2:07am

Well, he’s not the only person who comes to mind, just the one I’ve been thinking about lately. ACtually, the entire Evangelical Christian “Faith > Works” subculture also comes to mind.

cameronhorsburgh
cameronhorsburgh
reply to  Josh
Fri, Aug 02, 2013 4:06am

The problem isn’t that O’Dowd was foregrounded. It was that the singers were backgrounded.

These four women are well known in Australia, and certainly better known than Chris O’Dowd. I’d never even heard of him until I saw this movie. By your logic the Australian marketers should have backgrounded him and filtered him for the marketing material here, yet they gave him equal exposure.

Why is that?

Josh
Josh
reply to  cameronhorsburgh
Fri, Aug 02, 2013 8:20am

You don’t represent everyone in the world, your logical fallacy is personal experience.
He’s been in HOLLYWOOD movies, he gives the movie credibility.

cameronhorsburgh
cameronhorsburgh
reply to  Josh
Fri, Aug 02, 2013 8:29am

No, but I do know he doesn’t have star power in Australia whilst at least two of the women do. I don’t know anyone here who wanted to see ‘that new Chris O’Dowd movie’ but plenty who wanted to see ‘that movie where Jessica Mauboy is in a girl band with Deb Mailman.’

Your logic suggests that he should be backgrounded in the Australian marketing material yet he wasn’t.

Why not?

frosty
frosty
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 8:51am

‘Even’ if it is because of marketing reasons it
is still offense. The story is about the women. The original movie
poster (and DVD cover) you can still
clearly see Chris O’Dowd, but manages not to demean the importance of
the other actors. Proud female Indigenous actors at that.

Turdmon
Turdmon
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 9:03am

Maybe because everyone knows who Chris O’dowd is… which means more viewers? not hard to work out.. yet you go on about skin colour… grow up.

Hannah Armstrong
Hannah Armstrong
reply to  Turdmon
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 9:08am

You really, honestly can’t see why this is a shitty thing?? No-one is complaining about Chris O’Dowd – someone’s pointing out the problems with making him/his character the main focal point of a dvd cover. He’s not the main character, as stated above, and it’s not a story about a white dude! So why make it look as though it is?

Larrylongballs
Larrylongballs
reply to  Hannah Armstrong
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 9:18am

No one complains when brad pitt gets top billing for an ensemble. in fact, pitt clocked up so little screen time in inglorious basterds, babel and killing the, softly he probably shouldnt even been featured on the posters. also, It’s not like they’ve edited the film or remade it with a white cast. This cover poster will sell the film internationally. That’s a fact. Once people watch it I’m sure they’ll fall in love with the girls and will be more open to watching aboriginal themed films in the future. If they used the poster we had in Australia, the film would most likely be ignored.

Hannah Armstrong
Hannah Armstrong
reply to  Larrylongballs
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 9:21am

Okay, you can continue to ignore the differences and particular problems with this – you’re clearly not going to realise that it’s an issue. As an Aboriginal woman, I can’t help but be upset by this – even knowing the possible reasons the people responsible for this design (whatever they are, it’s cynical and ‘dumbs down’ – not good enough). Also – Aboriginal themed movie? I’m laughing at you.

Larrylongballs
Larrylongballs
reply to  Hannah Armstrong
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 9:28am

So you’re claiming this is race related? Well it’s most likely not, this happens. Stars get top billing. Marlon Brando appeared in Superman for less than 10 minutes. His name was plastered all over the posters and Christopher reeves face wasn’t even on the poster and didn’t even get his name above the title. Christopher Reeve is white.

Ebony
Ebony
reply to  Larrylongballs
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 9:49am

Just because other shitty things have happened doesn’t mean this thing isn’t shitty.

Larrylongballs
Larrylongballs
reply to  Ebony
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 10:00am

It just means that there are patterns that are not necessarily race related. If it is race related then you should be asking not “what’s wrong with anchor bay?” But “what’s wrong with those countries that need the poster changed to be marketable?”

Tsankara
Tsankara
reply to  Larrylongballs
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 4:07pm

1. There’s a difference between how films are billed (usually related to contracts with actors based on popularity, or sometimes getting switched up if a star emerges, such as what they did with Dave Chappelle in Half-Baked) and how their covers are butchered when creating a different international version.
2. Who the hell is Chris O’Dowd
3. If you cannot see the extremely creepy racist/sexist undertones in taking a movie with a bunch of non-major stars which is mostly about 4 of them who are women of color but also has a white male (this is just from my understanding of the story as posted as it not being a story about him finding stars) and creating an entirely new cover that is 95% white male (but with floaty desaturated blue ghost women in the background) then you have to be either willfully not seeing it or stupid
4. Yes this is some random import studio blah blah blah but it is an EXAMPLE of how institutional racism and sexism still exist and color the media. Fixing this will not magically end racism/sexism, but still it is there

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  Larrylongballs
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 4:19pm

You seem to be laboring under the belief that unless an action is deliberately racist/sexist, then it can’t be racist/sexist at all. But you’d be wrong. Casual racism/sexism are a thing that happens.

Larrylongballs
Larrylongballs
reply to  Dr. Rocketscience
Wed, Aug 07, 2013 4:47am

Not labouring under anything but the facts. Take Hairspray for example. John travolta got top billing and the largest image on the poster. The lead actor is seen down in the left hand corner. Movies market their films on who the biggest names are. It might be shitty, that’s debatable but if the do this to all races and cultures then it is clearly not racist. It is clearly not racist because they are not being singled out because of their skin colour or nationality.

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  Larrylongballs
Wed, Aug 07, 2013 5:34am

You’re still trying to argue that racism is only racism if it’s deliberate, intentional racism? Because that’s wrong. Repeating it isn’t going to make it any less wrong.

I’m also not sure how you think pointing out another example of sexist, deceptive marketing helps your argument. Do you think that anyone complaining (and a lot of people are complaining, enough that the distributor issued an apology) thinks that this DVD cover represents something that’s never happened before? Oh, no, no, this is just one particularly egregious example of a much bigger problem.

Also too, you seem to be trying to say that consistently favoring white men over all other races and cultures is somehow not racist. Maybe if you could produce a few examples of marketing that overemphasized the bigger star when said star wasn’t a white man, you could make those last two sentences sound a lot less irredeemably stupid. It’d still be pebbles in the river, but it’d be something.

Larrylongballs
Larrylongballs
reply to  Dr. Rocketscience
Wed, Aug 07, 2013 5:46am

Your reading too much into what I’ve said. My arguments do not resemble your paraphrasing in the slightest. Simple argument. If it can happen to any culture or race and it does happen, then it cannot logically be racist. It’s very simple. Anchor bay are apologising because they want to sell DVDs. It’s PR. nothing more. Also Denzel washington got top billing and an Oscar win for training day when the film was about the training of the Ethan Hawke character. Is that racist?

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  Larrylongballs
Wed, Aug 07, 2013 6:32am

I’m reading exactly what you’re saying. Maybe you’re not thinking it all the way through.

If it can happen to any culture or race and it does happen

You have yet to support this assertion.

it cannot logically be racist.

That doesn’t follow logically. What does follow is that it’s racist every time it happens.

Anchor bay are apologising because they want to sell DVDs. It’s PR. nothing more.

Yeah, there’s no possible way they could have looked at the criticism, realized “Wow, you know what, that is kind of crappy what we did.” Because unusually institutionalized racism and sexism are so obvious that everybody sees them.

Regarding “Training Day”, First, good, you came up with an example. Well done. Second, major, A-list, international stars negotiating top billing over actors playing ostensibly larger roles is a common film industry phenomenon, and one that is also occasionally fraught with racism and sexism. But that’s not the issue at hand here. The issue here is the visual construction of the marketing art. Now, the art for “Training Day” does present Denzel Washington more prominently Ethan Hawke. So, yes, you could make the argument that the “Training Day” marketing is racist. Significant;y less so than “The Sapphires” example, given that Hawke is only placed behind Washington, nor is either actors’ ethnicity clumsily disguised, nor is the nature of the characters’ relationship misrepresented. But yeah, you could make it. If you ignore the entire concept of institutionalized racism, of course. Otherwise, you might instead see Denzel’s ability to negotiate himself the more prominent role in the marketing of a film in which he has an arguably supporting role, despite being black, as progress. That argument could also be made.

Larrylongballs
Larrylongballs
reply to  Dr. Rocketscience
Wed, Aug 07, 2013 10:56am

How can you seriously rationalise training day as being racist. It’s simply evidence that skin colour is not relevant to film marketing? However, I do agree with you about them tinting the colour on the DVD cover. Btw, evidence is not proof. Also, there is no need to turn an open discussion into anything personal. Your sarcasm was unnecessary.

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  Larrylongballs
Wed, Aug 07, 2013 3:52pm

How can you seriously rationalise training day as being racist.

*eyeroll*

*heavy sigh*

No one calls out the poster for “Training Day” as racist, even though there is certain degree of deception there, because of context. That same context is what causes the art for “The Sapphires” to be racist and sexist. Chris O-Dowd does not carry remotely same star power of Denzel Washington, and Ethan Hawke does not represent not one, not two, but three historically oppressed groups. Context.

evidence is not proof

No, but assertion without evidence is just rhetorical masturbation.

Your sarcasm was unnecessary.

Well, Mr Longballs, I was assuming that you were an adult, and could handle a mild sarcastic ribbing. But I’ll be more direct: you, and I mean you personally, are attempting to dismiss the one victory, the one bright spot in this story. I can only assume that you feel the need to do so because Anchor Bay’s public admission of being in the wrong on this is hugely inconvenient to your argument. This is not a winning position to try and stake out. I suggest you rethink it.

Larrylongballs
Larrylongballs
reply to  Dr. Rocketscience
Wed, Aug 07, 2013 10:12pm

And by that logic the actors who played the sapphires do not have the same star power of Ethan Hawke who had a 16 year career in a range of internationally acclaimed films prior to training day. No, they have no star power at all in the international market. I had never heard of Jessica Malboy, before seeing the promos at the nova last year. Hence why they were in the background of this marketing poster. The colour tinting was unnecessary. I do agree on that.

And, a friendly ribbing? At what point did we become friends?

Hannah Armstrong
Hannah Armstrong
reply to  Larrylongballs
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 10:26am

That thing is not equivalent to this thing – okay? Is Superman a story about women? Is Superman a story about women of colour?
Why are you so invested in defending this? Is it really so difficult to see why it’s upsetting? The only reason little things like this can happen, and continue to happen, is because too many people are totally fine with making excuses for bullshit when it’s staring them in the face.

Josh
Josh
reply to  Larrylongballs
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 3:24pm

Same thing happened with Brando in Apocalypse now. It’s star power and that’s how the industry works.

Turdmon
Turdmon
reply to  Hannah Armstrong
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 10:00am

Just be glad they’re showing the world this.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Turdmon
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 3:19pm

No. We will not “just be glad.”

singlestick
singlestick
reply to  Larrylongballs
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 3:59pm

RE: This cover poster will sell the film internationally. That’s a fact.

Well, no. That’s not a fact. That’s not even an opinion. That’s speculation.

And yeah, people DO complain about misleading posters that over-hype a star’s small role.

Turdmon
Turdmon
reply to  Hannah Armstrong
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 9:47am

Yes but it explains why the girls are in the background… And the whole point of the article is all this sexist racism BS…

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Turdmon
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 9:20am

Not everyone knows who O’Dowd is. And even if they did, that wouldn’t stop this from being offensive *and* misleading.

Why is it more important to cater to racists and sexists who wouldn’t want to see a movie about black women than it is to sell a movie about black women to those who would want to see it?

If “growing up” means sitting back and accepting racism and sexism, no thank you.

Turdmon
Turdmon
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 9:47am

Well his more familiar than the unknowns in the background. And Sexism and Racism only exists because people like you stink up a storm over a DVD cover… yes… grow up please.

beckgwen
beckgwen
reply to  Turdmon
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 10:09am

He is not more well known than the women in the background – HERE in Australia. You’re naive. And the existence of both racism and sexism has nothing to do with this DVD cover. Perhaps you should grow up.

Turdmon
Turdmon
reply to  beckgwen
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 10:10am

Then why the hell are people bitching about sexism and racism? And I’m Australian and I have no idea who they are. I know Chris though.

Max
Max
reply to  Turdmon
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 10:51am

well whoppdy flippin doo to you!!

cameronhorsburgh
cameronhorsburgh
reply to  Turdmon
Fri, Aug 02, 2013 4:18am

You have no idea who Jessica Mauboy and Deborah Mailman are? How long ago did you leave Australia? It’s pretty clear you haven’t been here for at least ten years.

David N-T
David N-T
reply to  Turdmon
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 3:00pm

[quote]Sexism and Racism only exists because people like you stink up a storm over a DVD cover…[/quote]

Ummm, no. That’s the standard excuse of people who would prefer to sweep the discussion under the rug. Racism and sexism will endure unless they are dealt with. If you think MaryAnn is off the mark on this one, then make your case.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Turdmon
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 3:20pm

“Sexism and Racism only exists because people like you stink up a storm over a DVD cover”

You’re on the verge of getting bounced as a troll.

registradus
registradus
reply to  Turdmon
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 9:34am

I don’t think EVERYONE knows who Chris O’Dowd is…

ReB
ReB
reply to  Turdmon
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 2:36pm

Who the hell is Chris O’Dowd and why should I know him? Isn’t it just a little possible that there may be a large number of Americans (particularly ‘black’ American women) who would be impressed to see a movie about ‘black’ Australian women living their dreams?

ThatGuy
ThatGuy
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 9:28am

Everyone commenting on the fact that Chris O’Dowd is the most well known in the USA is correct. As to the “blue monotone”, this again is simple advertising. Certain colours affect the way we buy a product (look it up, there’s plenty of evidence) and that is all there is to it. Good god, some people look for any excuse to push their ridiculous agendas…

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  ThatGuy
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 3:21pm

“Simple advertising” that is racist and sexist will get called out as racist and sexist.

snipergirl
snipergirl
reply to  ThatGuy
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 3:26pm

It’s actually pretty shoddy advertising. It’s both misleading and poor design.

singlestick
singlestick
reply to  ThatGuy
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 3:51pm

RE: As to the “blue monotone”, this again is simple advertising. Certain colours affect the way we buy a product

Bullcrap. Anyone making a glance at the cover would think that O’Dowd is the lead singer and the women his backup singers. They might even think the movie is a knock-off of “Twenty Feet From Stardom,” which is actually about backup singers.

The UK graphic noted by another poster is far more clear about the film in a single image, showing O’Dowd presenting the women. And no one is pushed into the background.

It’s absurd to say that O’Dowd is featured prominently just because he is well known. The cover pointlessly misrepresents his role in the film, which would probably rankle his fans. So you have stupid marketing on top of racist and sexist marketing.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  ThatGuy
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 5:00pm

There is no such thing as “simple advertising.” None.

Luke
Luke
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 9:56am

This below is the poster used when the film was released in the UK. When it was released there is was also a reasonable box office success – possibly due to O’ Dowd’s undeniable fame there.

The fact that the girls get equal share of the space does undermine the assertions that the US cover is a pragmatic marketing design.

http://www.heyuguys.co.uk/chris-odowd-teaches-the-sapphires-about-soul-in-new-clip-ill-take-you-there/the-sapphires-uk-quad-poster/

Iain_S
Iain_S
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 10:00am

It’s not necessarily about race or gender, as this DVD cover features Miranda Hart front and centre despite the fact that she only makes a five-minute cameo. And even though she suffers from the apparent handicaps of being both female and large, the fact is that she is far more famous than anyone else in the cast, and as such is its biggest selling point. Both the Sapphires cover and this one are misleading and ethically dubious, but it is perhaps slightly naive to think that money-men think about anything other than money. They may well be misogynistic racists, but they’d never let that get in the way of making a few bob.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Iain_S
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 3:23pm

No, it’s naive to think that money-men are actually thinking about money when they ignore the audience that isn’t white and male. Why aren’t the money-men worried that women and black people who might be drawn to this movie if they knew it was about black women are being turned away?

RogerBW
RogerBW
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 3:27pm

If they did actually think about it — rather than just assuming that everyone, like them, finds white men more interesting than everyone else — they may claim that more people will buy the thing with this cover than with a more representative one. But I don’t think anyone actually experiments with this stuff; it’s all assumptions and rules of thumb, which tend to be ways of justifying what they wanted to do anyway.

David N-T
David N-T
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 3:39pm

Maybe because a movie about a while male isn’t expected to turn away women and non-white viewers the way that a movie about women and non-whites is expected to drive away white males. That, plus white males tend to be more affluent, so they must be catered to over and above anyone else, who must be content to fill a niche market.

RogerBW
RogerBW
reply to  David N-T
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 3:44pm

And if all the films look as though they’re about white men, those uppity womenfolk and black folk won’t have any choice.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  David N-T
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 5:06pm

That, plus white males tend to be more affluent, so they must be catered to over and above anyone else, who must be content to fill a niche market.

You just made my head explode.

Must be content to fill a niche?! Fuck. That. Shit.

David N-T
David N-T
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 5:11pm

What is it about what I wrote that made your head explode?

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  David N-T
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 11:06pm

All the bizarre presumptions in your comment.

Danielm80
Danielm80
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 11:45pm

I had assumed he was being sarcastic about “content to fill a niche market.” Are you assuming the opposite?

David N-T
David N-T
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Fri, Aug 02, 2013 12:29am

My comment about niche markets was made sarcastically, intended in semi-satirical jest. I thought it was rather obvious. *shrug*

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  David N-T
Fri, Aug 02, 2013 4:48pm

It wasn’t obvious to me. But thanks for letting me know.

Iain_S
Iain_S
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 11:44pm

Posters, DVD covers, and trailers are forever
misrepresenting the content, tone, casting, and even language of films, which
of course really pisses me off. The cover of THE SAPPHIRES R1 DVD is no
different; I find it as objectionable as any other wilful misrepresentation.
However, to make this age old problem suddenly about race and gender is
troublesome. Why not be up in arms about the prominent DVD cover positions of
the cameoing trio of Miranda Hart in TWELVE IN A BOX, Bette Davis in PHONE CALL
FROM A STRANGER, and Marilyn Monroe in LOVE HAPPY, or even about all those
dialogue-free trailers for foreign language films that are forever entrapping subtitle-phobic
rubes? Anyway, racist and misogynistic or just plain greedy, Bill Hicks had the
right idea about people that work in the ethical black hole that is advertising
and marketing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDW_Hj2K0wo

Victor Hart
Victor Hart
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 12:48pm

Exactly. Good cal! Who’s was the brain dead market researcher (s) who thought this would be appropriate O’Dowd would never have agreed to this warped crap.

snipergirl
snipergirl
reply to  Victor Hart
Sun, Aug 04, 2013 9:17pm

He’s come out as saying the cover is vile!

caillan
caillan
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 2:48pm

I am offended by this cover.
I hate to see a grown mans sex face all over the cover of a good family movie. It’s made worse by the footnote “A blast of joy”, which brings forward the idea that one will ejaculate if watching the film. It makes me feel frustrated that grown mature people cant just make a decent cover for a decent movie.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  caillan
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 3:24pm

Is this a joke?

snipergirl
snipergirl
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 3:25pm

No idea, but it’s hilarious!

David N-T
David N-T
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 2:52pm

I’m not entirely convinced by the arguments that this is simply marketing and that racism and sexism has nothing to do with it. I will agree that it is not explicitly racist or sexist, but there is such a thing as institutional racism and sexism: it is a system that, while not even having to mention race or sex in any way, shape, or form, puts women and non-whites at a disadvantage. In the case of cinema, it’s just a fact that the biggest stars tend to be white and male (which is itself a racial and gender issue, but I digress), which makes it more frequent for them to get top billing, which means that they are also more likely to get pimped in promotional displays, which, in turn, hurts the chances of non-whites and women to get their place in the spotlight. Does this system sometimes work in favour of non-whites and women? Sure, it occasionally can and does, but in the grand scheme of things, the recipients of this preferential treatment are far more likely to be white and/or male than non-whites or women.

snipergirl
snipergirl
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 3:24pm

Even ignoring the race & sex issues (which are clearly present), the cover is highly misleading. It’s reminiscent of all those Hollywood comedies where some flamboyant dick in the music industry makes it big by discovering a new group. This is a movie that is clearly nothing to do with that! i imagine that a bunch of people who pick the movie up expecting one thing will be disappointed to find out that it has nothing to do with the premise they expected- and a bunch of people who would have watched it would be put off by the cover.

From a graphical perspective, the fact that the lead actresses are barely visible with a low contrast pale blue while o’dowd is centre stage and mostly in full colour is incredibly misleading. It implies that he’s the main character as well as the most famous actor (I have no idea who he is either). Even if he was in the centre, surrounded by the girls, all in full colour, this would be a very different effect and a lot less misleading.

It’s bad graphic design and it’s poor marketing.

RogerBW
RogerBW
reply to  snipergirl
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 3:28pm

i imagine that a bunch of people who pick the movie up expecting one thing will be disappointed to find out that it has nothing to do with the premise they expected- and a bunch of people who would have watched it would be put off by the cover.

Though as long as the first group don’t actually return the film for a refund, mission accomplished.

snipergirl
snipergirl
reply to  RogerBW
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 3:33pm

The issue is also missing out on the people who would be interested in watching it and losing sales that way. Plus, word of mouth goes a long way in finding new viewers, and if that’s poisoned…

Sammy
Sammy
reply to  snipergirl
Fri, Aug 02, 2013 10:56pm

Let me get this straight snipergirl. You’re basing your comments on the premise that the only deciding factor for people to watch this film is the DVD cover?

snipergirl
snipergirl
reply to  Sammy
Fri, Aug 02, 2013 11:42pm

Let me get this straight Sammy. You’ve never browsed DVDs and had a look at ones you’d never heard of before?

Sammy
Sammy
reply to  snipergirl
Sat, Aug 03, 2013 8:36am

Of course I have. But I didn’t make my decision to watch it based on the front cover. I read the summary on the back, I look atthe actors, the director, the producers etc. Who would rent/buy a DVD soley based on the front cover??? By the sound of it, you.
P.S. Any chance you could answer my first question?

snipergirl
snipergirl
reply to  Sammy
Sun, Aug 04, 2013 9:15pm

The majority of potential buyers in a place like America where there has been very little media coverage of “the Sapphires” would take the following route:

1) Having never heard of the movie, pick it up while browsing, based on the cover
2) Read the back to see if they’re interested
3) Think about buying based on price, cover, blurb, etc

The problem is this:

1) The people attracted to the cover are those who think it’s about this guy played by Chris O’Dowd and his backup singers; they’d be very unlikely to be interested in a quirky based on true life Australian movie about Aboriginal women singers going to support the troops
2) The people who ARE interested in a quirky based on true life Australian movie about Aboriginal women singers going to support the troops would find it an off-putting cover because they think it’s about this guy played by Chris O’Dowd and his backup singers and would never pick it up to read the blurb in the first place.

In Australia you’d be absolutely right as most people have heard of The Sapphires. In America, not at all.

This is what I mean by terrible marketing.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Sammy
Sat, Aug 03, 2013 1:06am

If people don’t base their decision to watch a DVD on the cover, then why not feature the four black women prominently and shuffle the white man to the background?

Sammy
Sammy
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Sat, Aug 03, 2013 8:38am

I’m not disagreeing with the premise of your article MAJ, just some of the rationale behind it.

Danielm80
Danielm80
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 5:09pm

I like this article:

http://bankstreetcollegeccl.wordpress.com/2013/03/18/part-i-are-all-covers-created-equal-bank-street-6th-graders-weigh-in-on-race/

It’s part of a series in which sixth graders look at the covers of books and talk about the way they portray race and gender. One student said:

Do illustrators think that if a person of color is fully shown, it won’t sell as many copies?

LaSargenta
LaSargenta
reply to  Danielm80
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 10:33pm

That was interesting.

Matt Clayton
Matt Clayton
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 5:22pm

I honestly can’t argue with you on this one, MAJ.

Matt Clayton
Matt Clayton
reply to  Matt Clayton
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 6:33pm

And I’m honestly befuddled by the horrible Photoshopped jobs on a lot of DVDs, to be honest. It’d be a lot less effort on the studios’ part if they ported over the one-sheet artwork for the home video releases. (99% of the time they’re better than the actual DVD covers anyway.)

Dan
Dan
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 11:03pm

I understand the outraged.. Very crappy. However I think they did it from a marketing point. Chris O’dowd is just more recognisable then Jessica Malboy and Co. Making money tops good taste :-(

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Dan
Thu, Aug 01, 2013 11:07pm

Please read through the other comments. Your presumptions have already been addressed here.

LaurieMann
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Fri, Aug 02, 2013 11:51am

And, the other funny thing is – because of the way the photo is on the DVD cover, it really doesn’t look that much like Chris O’Dowd. But suddenly a character (a white guy) who was a manager in the movie is made to look like he’s a singer, and the real lead singers (black women) are made to look like back-up singers. Hate that kind of crap.

Amanda
Amanda
Fri, Aug 02, 2013 12:20am

Hi, I’ve signed the petition. Thanks for taking the time to address this wrong-ness.

christine
christine
Fri, Aug 02, 2013 5:15am

Blue – sapphires. Not everything is about being black white or green! Get over it. If you watch the movie you know how wonderful these women are. these women are inspiring people, human beings. if we just stop dividing people into colours people will stop thinking its such a big thing.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  christine
Fri, Aug 02, 2013 9:39am

We’re not the ones “dividing people into colors.”

The Dingo
The Dingo
Fri, Aug 02, 2013 5:43am

OMG. Who are these people? What have they done to The Sapphires?
You can’t call this marketing. If so, then i suggest the people responsible are hung out to dry. They can not have done their homework on this movie. For if they’d had the slightest idea about its storyline, the reviews, and awards received. There is no way on earth, they would have made the mistake of slapping such a cheesy, B grade, going straight to the bargain bin cover on it. Would you have us think so little of the movie, that we’d fall for covering up an act of sheer ignorance? This has to be the biggest blunder in movie marketing history. At the very least, it stinks of an elitist arrogance. Their attitude towards low budget Australian productions, and the ability of four little known black actresses to carry the movie, has made this a very costly mistake on all fronts.

snipergirl
snipergirl
reply to  The Dingo
Fri, Aug 02, 2013 11:43pm

Hear hear1

frog
frog
Fri, Aug 02, 2013 5:49am

They changed it to something that will sell. Sorry for you.

SandraD
SandraD
Fri, Aug 02, 2013 9:20am

I agree with you all, how good is a bit of angry feminism. Gah! Like you all when I get sexually frustrated I must vent about how rude men are and not respecting women. This is a prime example. How dare they!

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  SandraD
Fri, Aug 02, 2013 1:56pm

Speak for yourself. This has nothing to do with sexual frustration on my part.

LaurieMann
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Sat, Aug 03, 2013 6:51pm

DItto! ;->

LaurieMann
Fri, Aug 02, 2013 11:48am

Well, I was thinking about buying the DVD, but I will not buy it now. It’s that simple. I don’t like seeing movies so misrepresented. Remember Farrah Fawcett in the original movie Logan’s Run? No? She had a teeny, tiny party. When the movie was shown on TV, Charlie’s Angel had become huge so the ad in TV Guide made it look like she was the star of Logan’s Run. Uggh.

snipergirl
snipergirl
reply to  LaurieMann
Fri, Aug 02, 2013 11:49pm

Why not buy an Aussie or UK copy instead and get it imported? It’d be a shame to miss out on owning a movie which has a message that is the opposite of what this particular example of advertising is

LaurieMann
reply to  snipergirl
Sat, Aug 03, 2013 6:51pm

Good point…we have a region 1 DVD player.

Tonio Kruger
reply to  LaurieMann
Sat, Aug 03, 2013 7:36pm

Yes, bait-and-switch advertisements for movies have been around almost as long as movies themselves. I still remember a time when I was in grade school when my father took my siblings and me to see what he had thought from the ads to be a nature documentary only to find out that it was a film about the adventures of a big game hunter. For years afterward, he was so mad about having been taken in by the false advertising that he used to say that he would have much rather taken us all to see a bit of outright pornography than a similar movie.

LaurieMann
reply to  Tonio Kruger
Sun, Aug 04, 2013 2:14am

I remember hearing that some people were confused by a movie called “A Boy and His Dog” back in 1974. While it was clearly rated R, some people would take their kids to it anyway (and, in places, it was a pretty hard R). In that case, it was not a “bait and switch” though. The movie was based on a story by Harlan Ellison, that I think was originally called “Blood’s a Rover.” The new title did fit the movie perfectly, even if it wasn’t a movie for boys.

Bob Boatman
Bob Boatman
reply to  LaurieMann
Mon, Aug 05, 2013 12:47am

That’s good logic, but swallow your pride and get it, anyway… it was the feel-good movie of the year, Laurie :)

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Bob Boatman
Mon, Aug 05, 2013 9:32am

This isn’t about the “pride” of the individual purchasing a DVD.

LaurieMann
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Mon, Aug 05, 2013 11:19am

Right. I like the movie, I’ve been talking up the movie since i saw it, but I have an intense dislike of this kind of marketing.

HF
HF
Fri, Aug 02, 2013 12:08pm

Actually australian aboriginals are on average light brown – olive unless suntanned – many aboriginal australians are white – to insist that we are black is very very colourist of you

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  HF
Fri, Aug 02, 2013 1:55pm

I was being facetious, rubbing the not-whiteness of the leading characters in the face of racists who apparently are unable to cope with a story about nonwhite people.

I thought that was obvious.

Sammy
Sammy
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Fri, Aug 02, 2013 11:00pm

You might want to improve your writing skills before you think people can “obviously” pick up your “facetiousness”.

Karl Morton IV
Karl Morton IV
reply to  Sammy
Sat, Aug 03, 2013 12:01am

Her writing skills are fine. Her awesome use of the compound word “blackety-black” (which I intend to use in conversation once a day from now on) really didn’t tip anyone off?

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Karl Morton IV
Sat, Aug 03, 2013 10:18am

The repetition was a tip-off too, I’d have thought.

Edcedc8
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Tue, Aug 06, 2013 11:26am

I’m black y’all, an I’m black y’all, and I’m backity black blublack black y’all!

Bluejay
Bluejay
reply to  Sammy
Sat, Aug 03, 2013 1:03am

You might want to improve your reading skills in order to appreciate obvious facetiousness.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Sammy
Sat, Aug 03, 2013 1:04am

Would a racist even have noted the problem with this DVD cover in the first place?

singlestick
singlestick
Fri, Aug 02, 2013 5:08pm

Wow. Who knew that my off the cuff remarks would end up online down under. But it is crappy that MAJ and her site was not appropriately sourced. But props that the issue was raised and acknowledged as problematic.

snipergirl
snipergirl
reply to  singlestick
Fri, Aug 02, 2013 11:48pm

Agreed. It’s great to see the ‘big two’ sides of the Australian media (Fairfax and NewsLtd) agreeing that this is completely inappropriate marketing and sends completely the wrong message!

your comment was perfect btw :D

Mal Bowker
Mal Bowker
Sat, Aug 03, 2013 10:30am

Maybe if enough people write about this to The Project or A Current Affair etc if might get some national TV time.

Clare O'Reilly
Clare O'Reilly
Sat, Aug 03, 2013 1:26pm

This is not atypical. Aboriginal people in Australia rarely get press for the positive things that they are doing. My question is what is it about the US and Canadian audiences that they need this type of cover/cover-up?
Let’s not discuss writing styles as this takes away from the real issue here.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Clare O'Reilly
Sat, Aug 03, 2013 9:27pm

It’s not that the women are Aboriginal that’s considered problematic for American audiences: it’s that they’re not white.

donaldo
donaldo
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Sun, Aug 04, 2013 7:57am

A goofy looking dude in a retro jacket who is loved or admired by four women in some way. So the movie may be close to that. It is. Three of the women look black, one looks white, just like in the movie (in fact, all three look mixed race). There is no microphone: he is not the lead singer and they are not his back up singers. In fact, there is no singing going on. The movie could be primarily about him: he is the only name mentioned. Flip to the back, you read something about a talent scout finding four singers and taking them to Vietnam after converting them from country and western to soul. Sounds about right? Greyscale, or in this case duotone using blue, cannot hide dark tones in skin colour.

So after all that, you say, hmm, a movie with that guy from (insert latest thing here) with some Australian chicks, set in the sixties. Sounds like fun/sounds like crap.

Inherent racism/sexism/famism aside, it’s just a bad cover.

Bob Boatman
Bob Boatman
Mon, Aug 05, 2013 12:43am

I saw this movie with my 23-year old daughter, and we loved it. I wondered as we left, “Is this film going to catch on? I hope so, because it is tremendous, is based on a true story, but sure could use a wider release”…we saw it at the indie theater (The Arbor) in Austin. As far as I know, it didn’t catch on with anyone but the critics.
Now reading this article, I see the point, but the marketers probably took the best approach. O’Dowd is the only “known” actor in the movie (red hot from “Bridesmaids”). There’s a chance that DVD cover with him, though a bit disleading, will catch more movie-lovers’ attention. Maybe. Otherwise, that movie will sadly go completely unnoticed. And that is unfortunate, because it is a gem… worth 1000 “Lone Rangers”.

PS O’Dowd is very good in it… but it’s the ladies story, and they are sensational!

Colin
Colin
Mon, Aug 05, 2013 5:30am

not that i agree what they have done, but it is not the first time this type of thing has been done, Mad Max was called the road worrier in the USA to get people to go see it, poor old Bruce Willis wasnt even on the posters for Die Hard

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Colin
Mon, Aug 05, 2013 9:13am

Yes, those are completely the same thing as what we’re talking about here.

blahblah
blahblah
Mon, Aug 05, 2013 6:03am

yawn , wouldnt even bother to dload a torrent of this rubbish , haha all the PC hand wringing and crying is entertaining though

RachyP
RachyP
Mon, Aug 05, 2013 8:52am

FYI Aboriginals were still classed as “flora & fauna” until 1967. The year before this film is set. Now they’re wallpaper on this US version of the DVD cover it seems. Don’t tell me Australia have come further than the US?

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  RachyP
Mon, Aug 05, 2013 9:12am

Almost everyone has come further than the US in lots of things in recent decades.

Dave
Dave
Mon, Aug 05, 2013 9:11am

Whoopi GoldbergVerified account
‏@WhoopiGoldberg

saw really great film The
Sapphires Fantastic performances&singing Chris O’Dowd,Jessica M
,Debora M Shari S & Miranda T fabulous
C THIS!!

Should we boycot Whoopi for listing Chris first?

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Dave
Mon, Aug 05, 2013 9:12am

Are you being a wiseass, or do you have something to contribute to this conversation?

Turdmon
Turdmon
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Mon, Aug 05, 2013 2:27pm

Stop it. Just stop MaryAnn. You have too much time on your’re hands.

David N-T
David N-T
reply to  Turdmon
Mon, Aug 05, 2013 2:36pm

Why don’t you take your own advice?

Bluejay
Bluejay
reply to  Turdmon
Mon, Aug 05, 2013 2:37pm

No one’s forcing you to come here. You’re not interested in her comments? Stop reading.

Fionna
Fionna
reply to  Turdmon
Mon, Aug 05, 2013 3:39pm

MaryAnn is spending time expressing her opinion and participating in debate on her own website and product. There are worse things one could spend time on. And since some of us enjoy MaryAnn’s opinions (whether or not we agree with them) and appreciate the expression there-of, we’d prefer it if she DIDN’T ‘just stop’.

bronxbee
bronxbee
reply to  Turdmon
Mon, Aug 05, 2013 3:57pm

seems to me you have a lot more and really don’t mind wasting it. at least maryann is using her time for something she sees as wrong and is calling it out. you’re just trolling.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Turdmon
Mon, Aug 05, 2013 5:20pm

Please do not comment here again. You are not welcome.

LaurieMann
reply to  Dave
Tue, Aug 06, 2013 12:16am

Classic trolling. A babbling boy who doesn’t use his full name, throws apples (a person’s comments, but who knows if Whoopi really wrote them) when you’re discussing oranges (a marketing campaign for America).

applekate
applekate
Tue, Aug 06, 2013 3:02am

Chris O’Dowd tweeted his opinion about the DVD cover: “it’s ridiculous, misleading, ill-judged, insensitive and everything the film wasn’t.”

That pretty much sums it up. So much ugh for this sexist, racist asshattery, and over such a wonderful, heartwarming, funny movie.

LaurieMann
reply to  applekate
Tue, Aug 06, 2013 12:33pm

I follow Chris O’Dowd and if he tweeted this, he didn’t do it from his regular Twitter account.

applekate
applekate
reply to  LaurieMann
Tue, Aug 06, 2013 6:39pm

I got it from Jezebel who got it from here: https://twitter.com/BigBoyler/status/363093898320556032

Ronald
Ronald
Tue, Aug 06, 2013 3:41am

Do we know who runs the official Facebook page and created that image with Chris front and centre?
Do we know if the producers supplied the artwork?

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Ronald
Tue, Aug 06, 2013 10:11am

The Facebook page and the art were likely created by the DVD distributor. I don’t know this for certain, however.

Ronald
Ronald
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Wed, Aug 07, 2013 5:12am

It looks like the official twitter account is run by Hopscotch Films, the Australia and presumably first distributor. They may have begun the process of moving Chris to the front. For the record my preferred poster is https://twitter.com/SapphiresFilm/status/217475103091466240/photo/1 – looks like they went for, the more in vogue?, Jessica Mauboy for the Australian release.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Ronald
Wed, Aug 07, 2013 8:58am

Hopscotch probably has nothing to do with this cover. Anchor Bay is the US DVD distributor.

Ronald
Ronald
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Thu, Aug 08, 2013 12:44am

Possibly. Is offense not taken by all of the changes? Ageist – Sexist – Racist, Either that or non at all I believe.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Ronald
Thu, Aug 08, 2013 8:02am

I have no idea what you’re trying to say here.

Ronald
Ronald
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Fri, Aug 09, 2013 1:31am

just chatting really but I’ll focus…
Do you think the first design change was ageist? Would it bother you if it was?
Did you know about the Cannes image before you wrote your article?
Some
assumptions seem to have been made in assigning guilt. I think you
need to find out what Hopscotch were responsible for and maybe revise
your accusations against Anchor Bay.

Don’t feel obliged to answer any of this I’m sure you’ve got other things to do.

Edcedc8
Tue, Aug 06, 2013 11:23am

dickwashing?

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Edcedc8
Tue, Aug 06, 2013 5:22pm

No.

Edcedc8
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Tue, Aug 06, 2013 6:07pm

maybe later?

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Edcedc8
Tue, Aug 06, 2013 6:38pm

Not a chance.

Edcedc8
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Wed, Aug 07, 2013 2:19pm

you got moxie, I like that.
*moonwalks out the room*

LaurieMann
Tue, Aug 06, 2013 12:33pm

Anchor Bay’s comments were better than nothing.

singlestick
singlestick
Tue, Aug 06, 2013 4:14pm

The current episode of the slashfilm podcast (After Dark Episode 238) talks about and ultimately condemns the “dick washing” going on with respect to the Sapphires cover art and gives full credit to Flick Filosopher.

http://www.slashfilm.com/the-filmcast-after-dark-ep-238-revisiting-only-god-forgives-and-correcting-wolverine-inaccuracies/

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  singlestick
Tue, Aug 06, 2013 5:22pm

Cool.

singlestick
singlestick
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Tue, Aug 06, 2013 6:30pm

the web site Jezebel also picked up the story, again, with proper attribution, and has some interesting notes about reaction and followup to the issue of the crappy cover.

http://jezebel.com/the-sapphires-us-dvd-cover-relegates-black-female-stars-1031697027

A lot of good conversation sparked by your original posting.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  singlestick
Tue, Aug 06, 2013 6:38pm

I tweeted at Jezebel the day I posted this, and have been checking their site since then to see if they picked it up. They could have had it earlier…

Bemused
Bemused
Tue, Aug 06, 2013 4:47pm

Do you people know nothing of America? Its all about the $$$$. Mr. O’Dowd is known in America, the other actors are not.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Bemused
Tue, Aug 06, 2013 5:22pm

Please read through the other comments before posting something that has already been discussed to death here.

Cass
Cass
Wed, Aug 07, 2013 2:11am

It shouldn’t be too embarrassing for Jessica – great performer but her Javanese born Father and Timorese born Mother will also quickly get over it.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Cass
Wed, Aug 07, 2013 8:55am

What is this supposed to mean?

Anne-Kari
Anne-Kari
Wed, Aug 07, 2013 6:20am

Hey MaryAnn – at least the folks over at Jezebel managed to properly credit AND link to you: http://jezebel.com/the-sapphires-us-dvd-cover-relegates-black-female-stars-1031697027

novak84
novak84
Wed, Aug 07, 2013 9:43pm

it’s monochrome darling monochrome……..”monotone” you are really disrespecting them…….we’ve all tried being a smart arse and failed a few times in our lives.

novak84
novak84
Wed, Aug 07, 2013 9:44pm

“Monotone refers to a sound, for example speech or music, that has a single unvaried tone.” oh hockey sticks!

Bluejay
Bluejay
reply to  novak84
Thu, Aug 08, 2013 12:52am

Try going beyond Wikipedia sometime.

“Monotone: …Sameness or dull repetition in sound, style, manner, or color … Of or having a single color” – American Heritage Dictionary

Oh fondue spears!

novak84
novak84
reply to  Bluejay
Thu, Aug 08, 2013 7:35am

ha ha i didn’t need the dictionary, but quickly posted a copy and paste on the first thing i found. You quote American Heritage Dictionary, ptffffff try the Oxford English Dictionary old chap, much more knowledgeable and trustworthy.

Here is the definition of MonoChrome, you tell me the best fit.

http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/monochrome?q=monochrome

Bluejay
Bluejay
reply to  novak84
Thu, Aug 08, 2013 12:32pm

I didn’t say “monochrome” was wrong, or wasn’t the best fit. But “monotone” in reference to color is also accepted usage, something you didn’t acknowledge. (Also, google “monotone color schemes” to see how widely used the term is in interior design, graphic design, etc.)

Basically you’re trolling MaryAnn for an acceptable vocabulary choice that does the job of conveying her meaning. That would be as trivial as me trolling you for not following proper capitalization or punctuation. But hey, if that floats your little boat, knock yourself out. *shrug*

novak84
novak84
reply to  Bluejay
Thu, Aug 08, 2013 2:02pm

yeah never start a sentence with a conjunction, in this case “BUT”, very lazy. Have that tip for free, knock yourself out, shrug.

Bluejay
Bluejay
reply to  novak84
Thu, Aug 08, 2013 2:35pm

As I said: trivial. Thanks for proving my point.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  novak84
Thu, Aug 08, 2013 8:28pm

Unless you start to behave yourself and stick to the topic, you will not be welcome here. Shape up or ship out.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  novak84
Thu, Aug 08, 2013 8:28pm

Oh, for fuck’s sake. I am a publishing professional. I have worked professionally in print publishing. Monotone, duotuone, etc, are all terms used in the industry.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  novak84
Thu, Aug 08, 2013 7:50am

Are you disagreeing with what I’ve written? Or are you trolling for a reaction?

novak84
novak84
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Thu, Aug 08, 2013 10:38am

I’m a troll because i point out you should be using Monochrome?

Anyway, I disagree, PC gone mad. The original DVD cover looks old and dated. There are many DVD covers out there, black actors turned in to monochrome and in the background, is it racist or just a design? Most normal people would have the opinion it is a design, but you would have us believe we are racist………. take a look at these, are you fuming about these, no probably not.

tinyurl.com/krcesle

tinyurl.com/nxvg8yp

http://tinyurl.com/m6ep6m9

Danielm80
Danielm80
reply to  novak84
Thu, Aug 08, 2013 11:44am

The first two images represent the movies accurately, and black and white characters are given equal prominence.

The Southland Tales cover is a bizarre and ugly piece of artwork. So, arguably, it represents the movie fairly. But it’s barely in monochrome at all, and the color of Dwayne Johnson’s skin is perfectly obvious.

novak84
novak84
reply to  Danielm80
Thu, Aug 08, 2013 11:52am

sorry i wanted to add a comment to the Dwayne Johnson cover. He is airbrused so much he looks silly, and almost white, also pushed to the back.

The 2 over covers have black actors in monochrome, no-one is offended.

The Sapphires cover looks fresh much better than the old one.

A case of much ado about nothing.

Bluejay
Bluejay
reply to  novak84
Thu, Aug 08, 2013 1:22pm

The 2 over covers have black actors in monochrome, no-one is offended.

Because they are still shown as having equal status with the white actors, who are ALSO in monotone/monochrome. ;-) If the black actors remained in the background and in monochrome, while the white actors were pushed up front and shown in full color, would the covers still accurately represent the characters’ relationships and relative importance in those movies?

novak84
novak84
reply to  Bluejay
Thu, Aug 08, 2013 1:57pm

ice cube is in the background.

novak84
novak84
reply to  novak84
Thu, Aug 08, 2013 1:58pm

you try being a designer………try and put 5 people on a dvd cover and make it look good. The original was crap and no wonder it got revamped.

novak84
novak84
reply to  Bluejay
Thu, Aug 08, 2013 2:42pm

Yeah show me one that looks good.

I take it you think the new cover is racist?

If so, we might as well end it here.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  novak84
Thu, Aug 08, 2013 8:26pm

What “original” cover do you keep referring to?

novak84
novak84
reply to  Danielm80
Thu, Aug 08, 2013 11:53am

The Sapphires new cover, i don’t look at it and think, oh look at those white women behind chris whatshisname, just like i don’t look at ice cube or bill cosby and think they look white.

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience