A promotional poster for the Diana movie biopic has been removed from the site of the Princess Of Wales' fatal car crash in Paris, France, after its advertising location sparked outrage in the British press. The print ad, depicting Naomi Watts as the late royal, was posted at Place de l'Alma, near the entrance to the tunnel where she died in 1997, and just a few feet away from the Flame of Liberty statue, which has become an unofficial memorial to Diana.
Its location prompted outrage in the U.K. media and online, with Rosa Monckton, a friend of the tragic princess, expressing her disgust at the movie and the location of the poster in a rant to The Daily Mail.
She said, "I really don't have any words to describe how I feel about this cynical and shameless attempt to publicise a film that should never have been made. To have made a film so speculative and as this is disgusting enough, but to then advertise it on the spot at which she died is despicable.
"I cannot imagine that any company could stoop so low. It is a terrible intrusion into her memory, not to mention the lives of her sons, whose feelings are often forgotten in these stories. I would expect them to take it down right away."
The controversy has prompted bosses at JCDecaux, the advertising agency which placed the posters, to remove the ads at the request of executives at the film's French distributor, Le Pacte, on Monday (30Sep13).
It's the latest blow for producers behind Diana - the royal biopic was met with a mixed reaction from critics when it previewed in early September (13) and it bombed at the U.K. box office, taking just $934,500 (£623,051) in its opening weekend (20-22Sep13) and barely scraping into the top five.
Last night when Lena Dunham – the writer, director, star, and all-around powerhouse behind HBO's buzzy show Girls – leaned in and kissed the dreamy Patrick Wilson and he kissed her back, the snarkier parts of the audience (myself included) immediately thought, "Oh please, there is no way that he would get with her!" The rest of the episode, in which Dunham's Hannah spends two days in the loving arms of Wilson's Joshua, was a suspension of disbelief, as we're supposed to imagine that this romantic coupling is accepted by today's society. Their discrepancy was only made more apparent in a scene where Hannah and Joshua play half-naked ping pong and Wilson looks like a bronzed statue of Hercules and Dunham looks, well, not quite like an Aphrodite. But, by doing this, is Dunham actually genius? Yeah, I think so.
As much as we hate to admit it (strict codes of beauty be damned), Dunham is not what we consider conventionally attractive in Hollywood. And she'll tell you this as soon as anyone else. She even has said she makes her sex scenes as uncomfortable as possible to play up her non-conformist body type. She even uses her physicality as part of her comedy. Just look at her when she is standing at Joshua's stoop in her too-tight jumper with a massive wedgie. This is not a girl who is overly concerned with being a pretty pinup and knows that everyone will guffaw at a non-size-2 woman making a fool of herself.
But that is one of the brilliant, subversive things about Girls. We have suffered through years of sitcoms in which schlubby guys have courted voluptous ladies and it's become a sad TV cliché. And we've consistently found ourselves wondering how we're supposed to believe these lopsided relationships existed in the first place. It goes as far back as fat Ralph Kramden on The Honeymooners and his shapely wife Alice. Even if Kevin James was royalty, there's no way his King of Queens deserved a hottie like Leah Remini. Same goes for schlubby Jim Belushi and gorgeous Courtney Thorne-Smith on According to Jim. On Modern Family it's hard to say that Ed O'Neill wouldn't land a bombshell like Sofia Vergara because, well, how many fat old rich guys have gorgeous trophy wives, but twink Jesse Tyler Ferguson's pairing with bear Eric Stonestreet is a little less believable.
Lena Dunham is finally getting revenge for all those tight-bodied women stuck with jelly-bellied husbands. She is regularly casting guys as her romantic interest that are consistently more traditionally beautiful as she is. Adam Driver's character Adam (while not necessarily a looker) is as obsessed with keeping his body tight as Hannah is at keeping hers frumpy. Donald Glover is hiding a set of six-pack abs under his shirt instead of a muffin top. And Wilson, well, he's just in a class all of his own, and most mere mortals aren't nearly attractive enough to deign to make out with him. But here is Dunham, conquering them all.
She is doing what all those men before her have done, saying that she is worthy of sex and attention not for what she looks like, but for who she is. While it may sound harsh to say she's not any of these men's ideal, in terms of sitcom history, this is the first time that a woman has fought for this kind of equality: to not be the one who is slumming, but the one who is slummed. Just as male actors and writers have lived out their fantasies of bedding beauties on screen, now Dunham is doing the same, and making a shrewd point while doing it.
What's even doubly subversive about Hannah is that she isn't even really worthy of being loved. What we're supposed to think about all the schlubby men above — each one a before picture in a Weight Watchers ad — is that they are so wonderful and funny and such great providers that it's worth overlooking that roll that obscures their belt buckle to see the heart inside. Last night, Hannah was just the opposite. She and Joshua fell into each other's arms because they were such lonely messes, seeking out any sort of human connection, and Joshua wallowed in her flesh, a figure that isn't exactly exalted outside of Reuben. But when he got to actually know her, when she revealed herself to him and he saw who she really was, that is when he rejected her. He didn't dismiss her for what she looked like, but for who she really was.
The same thing happened with Glover's Sandy, who kicks Hannah to the curb for her unsympathetic political beliefs, not because of any junk she may or may not have in her trunk. Dunham is telling us what all of our mothers told us so long ago: It's what is on the inside that matters. While you don't need to be beautiful on the outside to get laid, you do need to be beautiful on the inside to be loved. That's not such a crazy lesson at all.
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Director to go forward with Brando's last film
Screen legend Marlon Brando, who died Thursday at a Los Angeles hospital at the age of 80, was finalizing the script for a new film entitled Brando and Brando, which was slated to start shooting this month. "I'm so sad and nearly paralyzed," director Ridha Behi told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from London Friday. "But I will nevertheless make the movie to pay homage to him. I'll go on with the film." In Brando and Brando, a young Tunisian with a fascination for his idol Marlon Brando journeys to the United States in pursuit of the American dream. According to Behi, Brando would have portrayed himself. He said he was in Los Angeles three weeks ago working on the script with Brando, who was enthusiastic about the project despite his ailing health. But Behi said he doesn't feel he really got to know the reclusive actor well. "He remains someone very mysterious," he said. "I think that it's very difficult to gain Brando's friendship, and I don't have the pretension to think I had it."
Olsen twins' "Got milk?" ad pulled
The Milk Processor Education Program has pulled its "Got milk?" ads featuring twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen from magazines out of "sensitivity to their current situation." Program director Hugh Williams told the AP Tuesday the ads, which feature both Mary-Kate and Ashley with the trademark milk moustache, might run in the future. A publicist for the Olsens said Mary-Kate recently entered a treatment program for a "health-related issue," but People and Us Weekly magazines have reported the 18-year-old actress has an eating disorder. When the ad campaign was first announced, Mary-Kate said in a statement, "We wanted to appear in this ad because we love the campaign and we want to help make sure our fans are healthy like us."
Judge dismisses suit against Schwarzenegger
A Los Angeles judge Friday dismissed a lawsuit against California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger by a former stuntwoman who said the former action star sexually assaulted her on the set of Terminator 2 in 1991 and True Lies in 1994, and then implied she was a prostitute, Reuters reports. In her lawsuit filed last year, Miller claimed Schwarzenegger and his campaign aides defamed her by directing reporters through e-mail to the criminal record of an accused prostitute named Rhonda Miller on a Los Angeles County Web site. But Superior Court Judge Robert Hess found no evidence to show that Schwarzenegger knew of or approved an e-mail sent to reporters by his campaign. He also ruled that Miller, 54, was a public figure at the time she filed her lawsuit and was therefore not afforded the same privacy protection as members of the general public.
Star Trek's Scotty ailing
Actor James M. Doohan, who played the USS Enterprise's chief engineer, Lt. Cmdr. Montgomery "Scotty" Scott, in the original '60s Star Trek TV series, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease within the last few months. Steven Stevens, Doohan's agent, told the AP Tuesday the 84-year-old actor is in the beginning stages of the disease, a progressive neurological disorder. Doohan, who lives in the Seattle suburb of Redmond, also has suffered for some time with Parkinson's disease, diabetes and fibrosis that was caused by chemical exposure during World War II when he was a soldier in the Canadian military, Stevens said. Despite his ailing health, Doohan still plans to attend a three-day Star Trek farewell convention next month in Hollywood and is scheduled to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Aug. 31.
Sean Connery to pen memoirs
HarperCollins announced Monday it has made a deal with Sean Connery for a memoir to be published in 2006, the AP reports. But according to the publishing giant, the Scottish actor has expressed some trepidation about the project. "Having always vowed never to write my autobiography, here I am standing on the runway awaiting my journey into a new space," HarperCollins quoted Connery as saying. "It's rather scary, but utterly exhilarating, and I'm looking forward to it." But the publisher would not comment on press reports that the 72-year-old actor had agreed on a six-figure deal.
Paris Hilton not "Born To Be Wild"
Steppenwolf's John Kay told the Toronto Star that he has turned down hotel heiress Paris Hilton's request to use the band's 1968 anthem "Born To Be Wild" on her Fox reality show The Simple Life. "There are certain things even a rock-and-roller will not stoop to, and this is one of them," Kay told the paper. Perhaps the offer paled in comparison to past usage of the song, most notably on the soundtrack of the classic 1969 road trip film Easy Rider, starring Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper.
Crow cheers Armstrong on in Tour de France
Rocker Sheryl Crow, who is dating American cyclist and five-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, told the AP she plans to be by her beau's side through much of the three-week race, which started Saturday. "For me, it has been not only a great adventure, but necessary, I think, to my art," she said, adding: "I guess I'm going to write a whole record about bike riding." Crow, who said she expects Armstrong to win an unprecedented sixth Tour, also said meeting Armstrong has changed her life. "I've had so many incredible things happen to me and I would say that meeting Lance has definitely been the most incredible," she said.
Kenny Rogers's wife has twins
Singer Kenny Rogers, 65, and his wife, Wanda, are the parents of identical twin boys, the AP reports. The twins, Justin Charles, who weighed 6 pounds, 10 ounces, and his twin brother, Jordan Edward, who weighed 5 pounds, 8 ounces, were born Tuesday morning in Atlanta. Twins apparently run on both sides of the family: Wanda is an identical twin, and twins also run in Kenny Rogers' family. Rogers has three children from previous marriages.