Australian feel-good flick ‘Sapphires’ has found itself at the centre of a racism and sexism row this week, following the unveiling of its US DVD artwork.
Full story below…
Telling the true story of an Australian indigenous singing group who faced intense racism in the nation in the 60s, ‘The Sapphires’ went onto become one of 2012’s highest grossing movies, with $20, 179,0002 made at Box Offices worldwide.
Impressive, considering its $8 million budget, the flick now finds its upbeat nature sullied by talk of discrimination upon the release of its US DVD artwork- as seen in the image above.
In this artwork, its lead Caucasian actor Chris O’Dowd has been given top billing and thrown to the front, while his ethnic co-stars find themselves cast to the shadows. Problematic, considering the marked difference between that and its Australian artwork, as can be seen below:
Accused of intentionally ‘whitewashing’ the artwork, the movie’s distributors Anchor Bay Entertainment have been forced to address remarks sent to them by the the real ‘Sapphires‘, who explained that the new cover was ‘disrespectful to the very talented young Aboriginal actors in the film, and it’s disrespectful to us as a group.”
So intense is this row, that the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People issued the following letter, sharing:
“As I’m sure you can appreciate, the treatment of people of colour in Australia mirrored much of the trauma to which people in the United States were subjected. That trauma – and much of that treatment – remains alive and well in Australia today, as I know it does in the United States. The US cover of the DVD completely misses this point, and in fact reinforces precisely the sort of bigotry that Naomi, Beverly, Lois and Laurel fought so hard against.”
In response, Bay apologised, explaining that they “regret any unintentional upset” caused by the DVD art.
So, now we ask you…