The studio behind X-Men: Apocalypse is offering a mea culpa over the film's marketing campaign.
In one poster promoting the film, Jennifer Lawrence's Mystique is seen being strangled by Oscar Isaac's Apocalypse. Though the image depicts a real scene from the film, there is little context for the graphic photo aside from a tagline reading, "Only the strong will survive."
"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," a rep for 20th Century Fox tells ET in a statement. "We apologize for our actions and would never condone violence against women."
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Among those criticizing the billboard is former Charmed star Rose McGowan, who addressed the "major problem" in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.
"There is a major problem when the men and women at 20th Century Fox think casual violence against women is the way to market a film," she said. "There is no context in the ad, just a woman getting strangled. The fact that no one flagged this is offensive and frankly, stupid. The geniuses behind this, and I use that term lightly, need to take a long hard look at the mirror and see how they are contributing to society."
"Imagine if it were a black man being strangled by a white man, or a gay male being strangled by a hetero? The outcry would be enormous," the actress continued. "So let’s right this wrong. 20th Century Fox, since you can’t manage to put any women directors on your slate for the next two years, how about you at least replace your ad?"
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For her part, Lawrence took a lighthearted approach in discussing the epic fight scene with ET earlier this year. The 25-year-old joked that her co-star's grip "was tight" but that the battle was actually "a fun scene to shoot."
"Oscar was very gentle and nice," she said, adding with a laugh: "I was in a harness. That was actually fun. ... I was in a sex swing."
Lawrence is no stranger to the ongoing conversation surrounding a gender gap in Hollywood. The Academy Award winner made waves with an essay written for Lena Dunham's Lenny Letter last year.
"I’m over trying to find the 'adorable' way to state my opinion and still be likable! F**k that," she declared. "I don’t think I’ve ever worked for a man in charge who spent time contemplating what angle he should use to have his voice heard. It’s just heard."
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