Universal's cry of sexism doesn't sway Brits

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Universal's cry of sexism doesn't sway Brits

Wed Mar 18, 2009 @ 05:20PM PST

By Eriq Gardner

It looks like the British government is taking a harder stand on violence in entertainment.

The Advertising Standards Authority, which regulates ads in the UK, has killed a TV spot for the DVD release of Universal's "Wanted." The ad featured Angelina Jolie toting a gun and firing a bullet towards the viewer.

After the ASA ruled that the advertisement was unsuitable for children of all ages, including older ones, Universal took the matter to arbitration with an interesting argument: could it be that the ASA was being a bit sexist?

Universal noted that ads for many other action films with strong male leads had been permitted without complaint, and that some might not like the idea that "Wanted" features a butt-kicking woman strong lead role.

Today, the ASA issued its adjudication, upholding its ruling that the ad condones violence. The ASA seems to have shrugged off the alleged sexism.

We wonder if Universal might have been taken more seriously if the advertisement's voice-over didn't state, "Angelina is blazingly sexy."

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to Matthew.Belloni@thr.com

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