In an attempt to create buzz for the film “12 Years A Slave,” an Italian distributor, BIM Distribuzione, released posters for the slave drama in Italy that featured separate images of Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender, both whom had small roles in the film, prominently over a much smaller image of the film’s true leading star, Black actor Chiwetel Ejiofor.
An Italy-based Black blogger, Carefree Black Girl, picked up on this discrepancy and raised some concerns about the posters, which in turn went viral.
Lionsgate, the studio behind the film, has now gone into damage control mode and quickly issued the following statement:
“‘The ’12 Years A Slave’ theatrical posters featuring Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender that were recently released in Italy were unauthorized and were not approved by any of the producers or licensors of the film. Summit Entertainment, acting as exclusive sales agent for the licensors, is investigating and taking immediate action to stop the distribution of any unauthorized posters and to have those posters currently in the marketplace recalled.”
Subsequently, BIM Distribuzione stopped distributing the posters and is in the process of recalling the unauthorized material already in circulation.
This is probably not the kind of attention producers want for their Oscar hopeful “12 Years A Slave. “