“All publicity is good publicity” – well, when your actors are getting into shady affairs and spitting on each other at awards shows, is this really the case? – Label Volunteer, Seb Dalais explores the impact on actor controversy on film publicity.

Don’t Worry Darling has been making the rounds in our news feeds for weeks. Now in all seriousness, we don’t really know whether or not Harry Styles, the movie’s supposed “star”, actually spit on his co-star Chris Pine during the film’s Venice premiere. For all we know, Pine could have been looking for his glasses that he put between his legs (one of the many suggestions circulating Twitter). What we do know is that the highly anticipated film including multiple award nominated actors/actresses, and singer Harry Styles has been shrouded by recent events.

While Don’t Worry Darling’s controversy was not intended, the attention it got could be a signal to other films to use it to their advantage.

Controversy in the film industry has been a growing topic, with debate on whether or not it actually helps a film be successful. Red Notice, a recent Netflix film, pulled off one of the biggest marketing stunts in film history when they reportedly stole the MOA globe, a massive statue at a mall in the Philippines. The globe was covered in a massive sheet and a day later the mall reported the globe was “back” with the stunt being revealed. While the film is about three people pulling off a heist and this could be seen as the perfect marketing strategy, Netflix received backlash for the spread of fake news that someone actually managed to steal the statue. Nevertheless, Red Notice debuted at number one on its opening day and stayed in the top 5 for over 6 weeks.

No matter what, controversy will always grab the headlines and the attention of viewers. Whether it sends you mindlessly into the rabbit hole of mediocre tabloids gossiping about who did what, or makes you genuinely interested in the growing situation, the product will always be in the back of your head for a short while. Articles have been sensationalised. In an age where millions of minds can be swayed from a single tweet you read, and a large-scale boycott can be started within a matter of minutes, there is no in-between with the success of a film basked in controversy.

The film industry is essentially a factory now. Major motion pictures are being steamrolled out every month, with major attention being given mainly to films with cultural significance, remakes, and sequels of previously popular films (such as the Marvel franchise, Star Wars, and somehow, the Fast and Furious franchise).

Perhaps individual films with no background need to utilise the “controversial strategy”.

Realistically, controversy ends up being a lot of bark and no bite, with people freaking out for a couple of weeks and then everyone forgets and moves on to the next controversy. Whether or not it seriously affects the financial intake of the film is another question.

What is certain, however, is that today’s society will forget about a big story as quickly as they latch onto it.

Edited By: Rachel Cannings (Culture and Entertainment Editor)

Design By: Sarim Mangi (Head of Design)


Comments are closed.