Uh oh. It looks like promotion for Denis Villeneuve’s latest sci-fi blockbuster Arrival is off to a rough start in Asia.
The Paramount-distributed movie which stars Hollywood heavyweights Amy Adams, Forest Whitaker and Jeremy Renner released several posters on the movie’s Facebook page on Tuesday, but an error on one of them has aggravated Hong Kong netizens.
The series of posters all feature a large alien spaceship hovering over different cities. However, the poster for Hong Kong’s harbour skyline included another offensive alien object Shanghai’s Oriental Pearl Tower.
Hong Kong maintains a somewhat contentious relationship with the Chinese government, and the suggestion that the Shanghai landmark was in Hong Kong was too much for locals.
Although Paramount movie execs quickly pulled the poster and posted an apology which shifted the blame to contractors, they further added insult to injury by replacing Hong Kong altogether with Shanghai’s skyline in the new poster.
Naturally, Hong Kong netizens weren’t going to let the incident slide.
Besides calling for a boycott of the movie which is due for release on Nov. 11, the hashtags #HongKongisnotChina and #HongKongIndependence started trending on social media platforms.
Hong Kong was under British rule for 156 years until it was handed back to China in 1997. Hong Kong is meant to be run as an autonomous country with its own legal system and freedoms of speech and assembly, separate from the control that the Communist government wields over the mainland.