General News

Distributor apologises over The Sapphires controversy

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Aug 06, 2013 | 7:34am EDT

Executives of a distribution company behind Australian film The Sapphires have apologised after replacing the movie's four Aboriginal female stars with Chris O'dowd on the American DVD cover. The film tells the story of a 1960s Aboriginal girl-group, who overcame prejudice to entertain U.S. troops in Vietnam, and Irish actor O'Dowd plays the band's manager. The comedy-drama is now at the centre of a storm of controversy after it emerged bosses at distributor Anchor Bay Entertainment put a picture of O'Dowd on the cover of the American DVD ahead of the four leading stars, who are consigned to the background. The decision has been branded racist and sexist by Australian commentators, and now a spokesperson for the company has apologised, insisting the firm "regrets any unintentional upset". Bosses are now considering changing the cover to make the female stars more prominent. O'Dowd also addressed the controversy when asked about it by a fan on Twitter.com, writing, "It's ridiculous, it's misleading, it's ill-judged, insensitive and everything the film wasn't."

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