‘Sapphires’ Movie Embroiled In Racism Row Over Altered Artwork / NAACP Issue Statement

Published: Thursday 8th Aug 2013 by David

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.

The problem?

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…


Should they change the artwork?

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  1. Rihking August 8, 2013

    Judging by the commercial and the promo pics, This movie looks like s***.

    • artPOOP August 8, 2013

      the film is actually pretty damn good but then again you stan for s*** like Riri so you probably only watch cartoons and animated films…. fkn seed

      • Dev August 8, 2013

        Yep, i saw this film the other day and i really enjoyed it. I actually enjoyed it more than Dreamgirls and Sparkle which are in a similar vein.
        I’d like to add that i read this story a week or two ago and Chris had said that he was also disgusted at the decision to put him front and centre.

      • Darkchild August 8, 2013

        Rihanna’s better than your life p***.

  2. Daniel Teflon August 8, 2013

    I’ve never heard if the movie til now..

  3. stephy the lambily August 8, 2013

    Slow news day Huh Sam. Love You Sam…

    • FAF August 8, 2013

      because he’s not posting some stupid fem queen b******* for y’all to battle over billboard charts & divas but something with newsworthy impact?

      • Rihking August 8, 2013

        Thank you

  4. ENOUGH ONIKA (KMART QUEEN) August 8, 2013

    It’ll flop anyway so who cares…

    • FAF August 8, 2013

      ‘The Sapphires’ went onto become one of 2012′s highest grossing movies, with $20, 179,0002 made at Box Offices worldwide.

    • artPOOP August 8, 2013

      you oviously haven’t read this article that you just posted on nor have you wathed the film… fkn seed

  5. POP ROYALTY (F*** Yeah Rihanna) August 8, 2013

    PR stunt.

  6. RRR August 8, 2013

    Please. The Australian artwork prominently features Jessica Mauboy because she’s a star there. The US artwork features Chris O’Dowd because he is the only recognizable face to the American audience.

    It has nothing to do with race or gender. The rest of the cast are nobodies as far as the US is concerned, so why would they be front and center if the goal is to move units?

    • the best dancer August 8, 2013

      well… i heard AUSTRALIA was racist … look at IGGY … she is racist

      • Lolisha August 8, 2013

        @The best Dancer – YOU HEARD WRONG! Maybe educate yourself on the country first before listening to stupid American rumours. PLUS, using Iggy as an example is ridiculous, SMH, she is one girl from a country of millions.

        There are always going to be racist people no matter where you live in the world but there are also those who fight for the rights of minorities, and who strive to achieve equality for all, and there are a lot of Australians like that that I know.

  7. Lovebird (roar – prism – 10.22.23) August 8, 2013

    I’ve never heard of this movie, good PR move I guess.

  8. Yolo August 8, 2013

    Looks like a second rate DreamGirls

    • artPOOP August 8, 2013

      becauseall musicals look alike, right? or just the black musical? fkn racist seed!

      • Yolo August 8, 2013

        Its like DreamGirls. What does race have to do with it. I’m black myself stfu. Why are YOU stereotyping all black musicals to be like DreamGirls? Damn fool

  9. the truth August 8, 2013

    “The Sapphires’ went onto become one of 2012′s highest grossing movies, with $20, 179,0002 made at Box Offices worldwide”

    20 million worldwide…and you say it was one of the biggest grossing movies world wide in 2012? Movies open with 20 million in the states alone every week with 20 million…

    • FAF August 8, 2013

      Did you ever see this in theatres in the US, though ?

      • Lolisha August 8, 2013

        @FAF…so in order for it to be considered a success it must be released in U.S cinemas….? lmao. There are plenty of U.S films that get distributed around the world (yes, there are other countries out there) that flop hard. What it comes down too is distribution costs, what companies on the cinemas they get played at etc…

  10. Sterling Infinity #MentalHybrid August 8, 2013

    loving this clip! is it coming to america?

  11. La Perra August 8, 2013

    Jessica Mauboy, the Soundtrack/covers she did were FLAWLESS!
    That girl has pipes and writes her own music…she needs to come to america and blow up here. This movie was actually really good, i enjoyed it thoroughly.

  12. eric August 8, 2013

    Best way to apologize is to change the artwork.

  13. AMHS August 9, 2013

    Seriously underrated movie!! and jessica is so god damn talented!

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