Paramount movie executives Down Under are learning a rough lesson about what kind of imagery doesn’t go over so well with the public: It’s not so much that people don’t like anthropomorphic turtles dressed like ninjas, but the fact that a recent promo poster for the Sept. 11 Australian release of the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie featured the reptiles escaping/falling from a burning building struck the wrong chord for some fans.
The alleged tweet from the Paramount Australia Twitter account last night has since been deleted, reports the Daily Mail, but reportedly showed the below poster, sparking controversy pretty soon thereafter:
Comments like: “So who’s getting fired for this poster art? September 11? Exploding buildings? People falling out of them? Le sigh” show that while people aren’t perhaps readying the pitchforks, the imagery of explosions and buildings combined with that date is striking an insensitive chord among fans.
The original post has been deleted and thus far it seems Paramount Australia is keeping mum and not issuing a statement on the controversy (we reached out to them and will let you know if we hear back), while tweeting several more mundane TMNT promo materials instead.
Paramount probably didn’t invoke the September 11, 2001 attacks on purpose — it used the same poster for earlier release dates as well — but as we’ve said it many times, and will again: mixing marketing with tragedy never goes over well, even if it’s inadvertent.