Controversy arises regarding "12 Years a Slave" posters released for its marketing campaign in Italy. While Chiwetel Ejiofor who plays the lead role is featured prominently in the American poster, Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender who have smaller roles take up the most space in the Italian poster with Ejiofor's picture being shoved to the corner.
The issue came to attention after a picture of the poster was uploaded on the internet by a Tumblr user. "REALLY? I don't remember Brad Pitt being the protagonist of the film or having such a pivotal role in the story to stay in the middle of the poster...I sure don't know anything about marketing strategy to appeal audiences but isn't this going too far?" the user wrote.
Summit Entertainment quickly issues a statement to clear up the controversy. The studio insists the posters in question were released without their consent and announces that they are in the process of yanking off the unauthorized materials which were already in circulation.
"The '12 Years a Slave' theatrical posters featuring Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender that were recently released in Italy were unauthorized and were not approved by any of the producers or licensors of the film," the studio explains. "Summit Entertainment, acting as exclusive sales agent for the licensors, is investigating and taking immediate action to stop the distribution of any unauthorized posters and to have those posters currently in the marketplace recalled."