But, but, I thought Europe wasn't racist?
Universal's UK 'Couples Retreat' Poster Brings Cries of Racism by Removing Black Actors
November 16, 2009
A racially-tinged advertising decision has gone awry for the movie "Couples Retreat."
Marketers of the Vince Vaughn comedy, which stars four couples in a tropical paradise, removed black actors Faizon Love and Kali Hawk from the promotional poster used in the United Kingdom after the U.S. version used all four couples. In response to outrage over the move, a Universal spokesman said the altered poster aimed "to simplify the poster to actors who are most [recognizable] in international markets."
While Love and Hawk aren't generally as well known as the film's other six stars, it's still a questionable motive. As noted in a 2007 New York Times article, American films with black stars typically struggle in the overseas market. According to the article, Will Smith, the undisputed king of the American box office, ranks no better than twelfth when it comes to ticket sales internationally. Simply put, said industry watcher James Ulmer, "The international marketplace is still fairly racist."