Thursday, October 27, 2005

Paramount Is On My List

And it's not the Christmas card list, either. First there was the whole Tom Ignorant Cultist Cruise Propaganda Publicity Tour, and now THIS:

Parents Protest 50 Cent Billboard
Posted Thursday, October 27 2005 @ 06:41 AM PDT by RD Ross
Filed under: Industry News
Parents at Golden Day Preschool (watch video) in Los Angeles are in an outrage. Right above where they drop their kids off is a billboard for 50 Cent’s upcoming movie Get Rich or Die Tryin'. The ad prominently displays the rapper/actor holding a gun in one hand and a microphone in the other. Community leaders see this as a blatant endorsement of gun use and violence. A boycott has been called by several organizations, including the local NAACP and Stop The Violence Increase The Peace, among others.

Najee Ali, of Project Islamic HOPE, pointed out, "Gun violence is one of the leading causes of death for young black males in South Central Los Angeles and across urban America.” In the last year there were 379 homicides in Los Angeles, as of October 8th, 2005. Of these murders, 71% included the use of guns. But Ali doesn’t blame 50 Cent for the ad. “It's irresponsible for Paramount Pictures to promote and market a movie that glorifies carrying guns,” he said. "We demand that Paramount Pictures remove these negative images of death and destruction, images that our young children are influenced by." Paramount has yet to respond.

Now, I'm not even going to get into my thoughts on "Fitty", his lifestyle, his lyrics, or anything else (and believe me, I do have some issues, as a mom and a hip-hop fan), because I agree with Najee Ali on where the responsibility for this ad campaign lies--squarely on the shoulders of Paramount Pictures. There were alternatives to that particular billboard, particularly in proximity to preschools and high schools (there are no reports as yet, of these images being placed near elementary or high schools or civic centers in the inner cities, but that doesn't mean they're not there).

The main publicity image for the movie, the one most prominently featured on Paramount's official website for the film appears to be this one,

which in my opinion is even WORSE, featuring "Fitty" from the back, holding an infant, but with a handgun tucked into the back of his pants. I'm offended by this in so many ways, I can't see straight.

But there is another image, which, in my opinion, could have been so much more positive, and from what I've read on Paramount's website about the movie, truer to the film's message. What, I ask you, would have been wrong with this image, which puts a much more positive slant on the film's tag-line, "At the end of the day, what will you hang on to?" plastered all over the inner-city to promote Get Rich Or Die Tryin'?
Fewer ticket sales, is what, and that, naturally, is all Paramount cares about. If this upsets you, please let them know about it. The minds and lives of our children--ALL of our children-- are more important that whatever money Paramount is going to make from this, um, cinematic tour de force.
To contact Paramount by mail, phone, or fax (which apparently count for MUCH more than e-mail):
Brad Grey Chairman & CEO
Paramount Studios
5555 Melrose Avenue
Hollywood, California 90038
323-862-1204 (fax)
Update: Paramount has removed at least some objectionable advertising: article


  1. Not only is the poster offensive, I think that the movie itself (including title) is offensive. Apparently what we are trying to teach the younger generation of children is that you have to be rich. The only other alternative is death. Interesting, the older I get the more I feel sorry for the younger generations.

  2. I agree that there are just so many things wrong with this-the title itself, the crucifixion-like image, the baby and handgun poster. I'm having a hard time imagining the pitch meeting that took place at Paramount where someone presented this campaign and someone else said "hey, great idea!".

    Here's a newsflash: What babies need is love, not money, and certainly not a Dad who feels he should risk death in order to provide. Paramount, this sucks.

  3. Well, there's offensive and then there's OFFENSIVE. I think this advertising campaign would be the latter. I just don't know what to say. Are we so used to violence in our daily life that we wouldn't be offended by this? It is beyond my way of thinking. The second photo of the gun tucked in Fitty's pants whilst he's holding a baby... well, it's just to horrible to even comtemplate. I'm writing a letter tonight.

  4. You've Just Been Ghosted -- Come Over to My Site And Grab A Puking Pumpkin!

  5. And people say the media has no effect on us? Children learn by imitation and role models, that is, adults. This man has a warped view of what will help the black community. The whole gangsta rap crew does. It comes down to the whole proscription/prescription debate. It's pretty obvious where this falls in that argument.

  6. And we wonder why there is so much violence in our inner cities...honestly victims of violent crimes should be allowed to sue Hollywood for such inflammatory stuff.
    I shall try to send an email to Paramount straightaway.

  7. I've seen a lot of gunshot victims come thru the ER that shot themselves in the leg, groin, butt, even their penis - how? By sticking a gun in their pants.

  8. "I've seen a lot of gunshot victims come thru the ER that shot themselves in the leg, groin, butt, even their penis - how? By sticking a gun in their pants."

    Oh, Laurie--Most of that I'd call delicious irony. If they actually manage to take out their reproductive ability, I'd call it "natural selection", or "chlorine in the gene pool".

  9. digi--what gets me is that this is what they're GOING for, and sometimes (sometimes not, as in "Fitty's" case) the image is far removed from the reality of the artist's persona. With record label names like "Death Row", and album and song titles like "Massacre", are we really surprised? Pimpin' ain't easy.

  10. >Are we so used to violence in our daily life that we wouldn't be offended by this?

    Uh, sadly, yes. This is the country that blew a gasket when Janet Jackson's nipple made an appearance at the Super Bowl, but nary bats an eye over the routine violence in prime time television.

    Yeah, this is where some say, "But what if your child had been watching?"

    I would have shrugged and said, "It's a nipple. Mommy has one. Everybody has nipples." Don't make it a big deal and the child wouldn't think it's a big deal.

    But a casual attitude toward violence only makes it acceptable.

    A nipple never killed anyone (least, I don't think so...hee). A person with a gun, OTOH,...

  11. Update to inappropriate signage. Paramount pulled a few signs today after complaints from LA country authorities.