Italian Distributor Dismisses Chiwetel Ejiofor as the main star of “12 Years a Slave”

Sandra Appiah December 27, 2013

Italian Distributor Dismisses Chiwetel Ejiofor as the main star of "12 Years a Slave"

The Italian distributor of the film “12 Years a Slave” released inappropriate posters that favored white actors Brad Pitt and Michael Fassenber as the main stars over black actor Chiwetel Ejiorfor.

Pitt is the producer of the film and also plays a minor role, while Fassenber plays a supporting role. Ejiofor, who is a Briton of Nigerian parentage, is the main star of the film, but he is portrayed on the poster as a supporting actor.

The distributor gave an apology three days after the release of the poster, when it began to stir an uproar within the black community.

“We apologize for creating and releasing unauthorized posters for ’12 Years a Slave’ in Italy featuring Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender in a manner inconsistent with approved advertising materials. All inappropriate materials have now been withdrawn. We are very proud of the film and regret any distraction this incident may have caused,” said the distributor in a statement issued Thursday. 

According to a statement issued on Monday by Lionsgate Summit label, the sales agent for the licensors, the inappropriate posters were unauthorized and unapproved  by any of the film’s producers or licensors. They are taking action to end the distribution of the posters.

“12 Years a Slave,” a groundbreaking movie of the year, has been nominated for seven Golden Globes, four SAG awards, five Independent Spirit awards, and is said to be a great Oscar contender.

Last Edited by: Updated: June 19, 2018


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