After actress Rose McGowan publicly called out 20th Century Fox last week for X-Men: Apocalypse billboards depicting Jennifer Lawrence’s character being strangled, the studio has apologized for the ads and is in the process of removing them.
The ads depict a struggling Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) being strangled single-handedly by an enraged Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac).
In a statement issued Friday, Fox said:
“In our enthusiasm to show the villainy of the character Apocalypse, we didn’t immediately recognize the upsetting connotation of this image in print form. Once we realized how insensitive it was, we quickly took steps to remove those materials. We apologize for our actions and would never condone violence against women.”
The studio also said it had already begun taking down the billboards in question before McGowan brought the issue to national attention, once they realized their poor judgment.
While McGowan hasn’t responded to news of Fox’s apology. In a Facebook post on May 25, McGowan pointed out, “There is no context in the ad, just a woman getting strangled. The fact that no one flagged this is offensive and, frankly, stupid.”
“Imagine,” she continued, “if it were a black man being strangled by a white man, or a gay male being strangled by a herero? The outcry would be enormous.”
X-Men: Apocalypse is entering its second weekend at the box office, having trounced Alice Through the Looking Glass‘s opening — a movie whose poor grosses have been largely credited to its own abuse-related bad publicity, involving Johnny Depp.