A poster for the upcoming animated Snow White parody “Red Shoes & the 7 Dwarfs” at the Cannes Film Festival last week made a lot of jaws drop.
Actress Chloë Grace Moretz was one of the people who gasped – and she gives voice to the main character.
The poster showed a tall, thin woman wearing red high heels standing next to a shorter, plumper version of herself. “What if Snow White was no longer beautiful and the 7 dwarfs not so short,” the poster said.
Negative reactions poured in, including this comment from one mom on Instagram: “This is a joke, right? And not an actual movie poster for an actual movie that’s coming out in the year 2018. Tall + thin = beautiful. Plus sized = ugly. Guess what movie my kids will NEVER see as long as I have any say?”
“With the current consciousness about body-shaming issues the U.S. and Europe, the marketing approach seems uniquely tone-deaf and antiquated,” writes Cartoon Brew.
Plus-sized model Tess Holiday objected to the message, too.
“How did this get approved by an entire marketing team?” she wrote. “Why is it okay to tell young kids being fat = ugly?”
Moretz didn’t like it either, she said in a series of tweets on Wednesday in which she apologized to fans about the poster.
“I have now fully reviewed the (marketing) for Red Shoes, I am just as appalled and angry as everyone else, this wasn’t approved by me or my team,” she wrote.
“Pls know I have let the producers of the film know. I lent my voice to a beautiful script that I hope you will all see in its entirety.
“The actual story is powerful for young women and resonated with me. I am sorry for the offense that was beyond my creative control.”
According to People, the movie follows the quest of seven princes searching for a pair of enchanted red shoes that can break the spell that turned them into dwarfs.
But there’s a catch. The shoes belong to Snow White, who wears them because they transform her from a short, curvy woman into a taller, thinner woman.
She is a princess who “doesn’t fit into the celebrity world of Princesses – or their dress size,” according to one description of the movie.
Some people found the trailer for the movie just as offensive. In the clip two dwarfs hiding in Snow White’s room watch her undress and discover the secret of her shoes. They look appalled when she takes off the magic shoes and turns into a heavier girl.
According to Cartoon Brew the backlash has left South Korean producers scrambling to save the English-language movie.
One of the producers, Sujin Hwang, told CNN that the movie studio has “terminated” the controversial ad campaign.
“As the producer of the theatrical animated film ‘Red Shoes and the 7 Dwarfs,’ now in production, Locus Corporation wishes to apologize regarding the first elements of our marketing campaign (in the form of a Cannes billboard and a trailer) which we realize has had the opposite effect from that which was intended,” Hwang wrote.
“Our film, a family comedy, carries a message designed to challenge social prejudices related to standards of physical beauty in society by emphasizing the importance of inner beauty.”
Hwang added regret that artists associated with the movie – suggesting Moretz – were embarrassed or dissatisfied, “none of whom had any involvement with creating or approving the now discontinued advertising campaign.”