20th Century Fox has issued an apology for using an image of Jennifer Lawrence’s X-Men: Apocalypse character Mystique being strangled to promote the new film.
The distributer admitted that the image, which has been used on billboards and sings across the US and Canada, was upsetting and showed violence towards women.
"In our enthusiasm to show the villainy of the character Apocalypse we didn't immediately recognise the upsetting connotation of this image in print form,” "Fox said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.
"Once we realised how insensitive it was, we quickly took steps to remove those materials. We apologise for our actions and would never condone violence against women."
The controversial images were slammed by people online, as well as actress Rose McGowen who told The Hollywood Reporter that it “promoted casual violence against women."
"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 continued.
“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. 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?"
The billboards and posters are in the process of being taken down.