Now I’m never one to cry racism (ok yes I am), but I just saw a new television ad for The Watch and it pissed me off. This is a film, that based off of the talent behind the camera, and the second trailer, and the inclusion of Richard Ayoade as a lead character, has me very curious. Yes it has Stiller and Vaughn in it, but this could be good.
Anyway what pissed me off was that it was one of those 30 second spots where in large font, they show the last name of one of the principal leads, and then a funny moment from that actor. The ad starts as you would expect with STILLER. then VAUGHN. then HILL. then it ends. No AYOADE. Why wouldn’t Ayoade get the big font tv ad treatment, if 3/4ths of the stars of the film get it? If your response is that he is not a household name like them, I guess I can agree, but why would he get billing in the trailer and not in the tv ad? Seems inconsistent. Also it just seems weird that you would highlight 3 members of a 4 member ensemble.
Simple solution: Give them all the big font treatment or none of them.
This shit happened with Ghostbusters and as a person of color, I guess these are the sorts of things that you notice in marketing. Winston (Ernie Hudson) had nothing to do with any of the ads, posters, promotional material, or videogames. He was a main character of a franchise that you would have never known was even in it because that is how it was sold. I don’t doubt the filmmakers just make the film they want without much concern over being exclusionary, but the directors don’t make the ads. Marketers do.
I’m putting you on notice The Watch marketers. Ya kinda being racially insensitive, but I’m still gonna see this movie cause it could be good, and could put Ayoade in a much better place in the US, and that’s a win for everyone.