“Neighborhood Watch” Trailers Pulled After Trayvon Martin Shooting
The shooting of Trayvon Martin in Florida by a Neighborhood Watch captain is sparking controversy across the nation. In an attempt to avoid the negative press spilling over to their film, Fox has pulled the teaser poster and teaser trailer for their upcoming film "Neighborhood Watch" from theaters in Florida.
A Fox spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter,
"We are very sensitive to the Trayvon Martin case, but our film is a broad alien-invasion comedy and bears absolutely no relation to the tragic events in Florida. The movie, which is not scheduled for release for several months, was made and these initial marketing materials were released before this incident ever came to light. The teaser materials were part of an early phase of our marketing and were never planned for long-term use. Above all else, our thoughts go out to the families touched by this terrible event."
Both the teaser poster and teaser trailer contain shooting references. On the teaser poster, the neighborhood watch sign is riddled with bullet holes and splashed with green blood. In the teaser trailer, which is shown before "21 Jump Street", the four members of the Neighborhood Watch are driving through their neighborhood in a scene reminiscent of 1990's gang movies, and Jonah Hill makes a gun shooting gesture to a group of teenagers on the street.
The film has nothing to do with events similar to the tragic shooting in Florida. In fact, the film is classified as a sci-fi comedy. Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, and Richard Ayoade play men who use their local neighborhood watch as a reason to get away from their families. While out on watch, the four men uncover an alien plot that threatens the world.
Was Fox correct to pull their promotional materials in the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting? Could this be Fox using a tragic event for publicity while looking like they are doing the noble thing?