The makers of new alien movie ‘Arrival’ have said sorry for photoshopping a landmark from Shanghai into the skyline of Hong Kong on a promotional poster.
Paramount unveiled the poster yesterday, but removed it after a pretty serious political backlash on social media.
The poster featured the Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong, with a cigar shaped alien ship suspended above the water.
However, it also featured the unwelcome addition of the Oriental Pearl Tower from Shanghai parachuted in.
The results were disastrous, with thousands of angry commenters hammering the movie’s Facebook page, and the withering hashtag #HongKongisnotChina emerging.
Some were even calling for a boycott of the movie, starring Amy Adams and due out in November.
According to the Hong Kong Free Press, one particularly angry user wrote: “Lets boycott this piece of sh*t. Putting the f**king tower in Vic. Harbour doesnt mean it represents China you f**king idiot. #Hongkongisnotchina (sic).”
Tweeting an apology, Paramount said:
An error was made in an “Arrival” poster by a 3rd party vendor. It’s been corrected and we are disappointed we didn’t catch the error.
— Arrival Movie (@arrivalmovie) August 18, 2016
Politically, it was a grave blunder, stoking long-simmering resentment.
Some have refused to accept the apology.
“No excuses!” wrote one angry commenter on the movie’s Facebook page, where much of the anger was aimed.
“You guys really did make a big mistake. Hong Kong is always different from China. This is totally unacceptable for real Hong Kong people.”
Playing on the movie’s tagline ‘why are they here?’, another added: “Why are they (the Chinese colonist) here?”
Hong Kong was a British colony since the first Opium War which ended in 1842. Its sovereignty was then handed back to China in 1997.
But there is still a deep division between Hong Kong and the People’s Republic.
Some even speculated that the ‘third party vendor’ involved in making the poster may have had a political agenda.
However, if the filmmakers were genuinely unaware of the issues at stake, one commenter set them straight.
“It was like calling a Northern-Irish as British, or a Catalan as Spanish,” they wrote. “It’s worse in this case as we’re talking about the Commie just across the fine border. You can’t imagine how much harm the Commie have done to Hong Kong so far.”
Image credits: Paramount/Facebook