Forget gorillas and North Carolina bathroom laws. Internet outrage warriors found a new obsession over the weekend when once-famous actress Rose McGowan noticed a billboard depicting — gasp — a scene from the new movie “X-Men: Apocalypse.”
The scene chosen for the billboard showed Apocalypse (played by Oscar Isaac) choking Mystique (played by Jennifer Lawrence). Because the scene showed a man harming a woman, outrage ensued.
We could all place pretty large bets on the idea that McGowan would not be upset if the billboard depicted a different scene in the movie — one where Apocalypse beats Dr. Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) to a bloody pulp.
“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. There is no context in the ad, just a woman getting strangled,” McGowan told the Hollywood Reporter. “The fact that no one flagged this is offensive and frankly, stupid. The geniuses behind this, and I use that term lightly, need to to take a long hard look at the mirror and see how they are contributing to society.”
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She added: “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.”
Really? The outrage was enormous for the male-mutant versus female-mutant, but there would certainly be no outrage from anyone if a white man were the one being strangled.
Beyond the absurdity of finding outrage in a fictional scene, it also shows how little the outrage warriors — and Hollywood actors like McGowan — think of men. No otherwise nonviolent man drove down the road, saw that billboard, and thought to himself: “Hmm, maybe I should try strangling my wife tonight.” And no man who was otherwise inclined to do so needed a billboard as a final push.
It was just a billboard, calm down people. And seriously, this is a movie about someone called “Apocalypse.” A lack of violence or destruction in the marketing campaign would have seemed odd. I thought we had moved past the days where we thought people were stupid enough and gullible enough to follow everything they saw in movies and pictures. I guess not.
Ashe Schow is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.