Oscar contender Dujardin in ad campaign controversy over new film
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French actor Jean Dujardin, who has been nominated for a Best Actor at the upcoming Oscar ceremony in LA for his performance in The Artist, is at the centre of a controversy over an advertising campaign for his latest film, Les Infidèles, (The Adulterers).
The posters for the film, which show Dujardin in a compromising position with a woman, have already drawn a number of complaints to the ARPP which regulates advertising in France and have been removed from public view.
They were described by members of the public as “vulgar” and criticised for their negative portrayal of women.
One of the posters shows Dujardin holding a women’s splayed legs with the quote “I am going into a meeting.”
ARPP head, Stéphane Martin, said it was too soon to say whether the advertising campaign contravened current standards, but it was already clear it was in violation of rules concerning how people could be portrayed in public.
“As a precautionary measure we have asked JC Decaux, the company in charge of the posters, to take them down,” he told the newspaper Aujourd’hui en France. “If our ethics panel follows our advice they would have to be removed anyway.”
JC Decaux has defended its decision to run the publicity campaign saying it reflected the humoristic nature of the film which is a comedy about adultery.
“There are not in good taste, it’s true,” said the company. “We had already rejected other visuals for the film which we felt were not suitable for the public.”
The week-long advertising campaign for Les Infidèles is not likely to have much impact on French audiences, but it could harm Dujardin’s chances of scooping the Best-Actor award at February’s Oscar ceremony.
Dujardin’s performance in The Artist has already won him a number of awards in the US including a Golden Globe for best actor. The row over the bawdy nature of this latest publicity campaign could go down badly with the Oscar panel of judges who represent the US film industry.
Stateside, there is a form of censorship which forces studio to be very careful when conducting advertising campaigns and filming certain sex scenes.
Les Infidèles is not the only film to have recently caused controversy in France. The posters advertising the fourth episode of the box-office hit Underworld were withdrawn from some forms of public transport in the southern city of Marseille after a complaint from transport company, RTM.
The image of guns on the poster were thought to be in appropriate in the light of the “climate of violence” in the city