Couples Retreat, this fall’s most thinly veiled paid vacation for Vince Vaughan and his friends, was already obviously terrible. We all know that. No one is wondering whether or not Couples Retreat, a nominal “comedy” in which three unhappy couples go to Hawaii for almost no reason other than that the stars of the movie wanted to go to Hawaii, is unfunny and miserable, much like the characters’ marriages. But somehow this movie has managed to get even worse now that the token black couple has been Photoshopped out of the movie poster in the UK’s marketing push. From the Mail:

The makers of a hit Hollywood film are at the centre of a race controversy after removing two black actors from a poster being used to promote it in Britain.

A spokesman for makers Universal Pictures confirmed the poster had been changed to ‘simplify’ it for the UK and international market outside America. The studio said it regretted causing offence and has abandoned plans to use the revised poster in other countries.

Yikes! Both posters enlarged, along with some additional COMMENTARY, after the jump.

Black people:

No black people:

How is it that Barack Obama can get elected president of the United States of America, but Faizon Love can’t make it onto a UK subway poster for a hackneyed romantic comedy no one wants to see anyway? Just kidding. Actually, if anything, it is weird that the cries of racism are only happening now. That original US poster is no great shakes in the racial equality department.

“Could the black people be any smaller or any more shoved into the deepest background?”
–Bandler Ching

Although, Universal’s defense is pretty thin. They wanted to “simplify” things for an international audience? Whoops, international audience, that is your simplification! Oh, wait, you mean the international audience who doesn’t understand what huge stars Faizon Love and Kali Hawk are? I mean, in America, you put Faizon Love and Kali Hawk on a movie poster and you might as well just print money, but in the International market, you have to appeal to a different audience. Sarcasm! No offense to Faizon Love and Kali Hawk, but I’m sure they know that they are not huge movie stars. We’re all adults here.

In any case, I made a new poster for Couples Retreat that skirts the complicated issue (not complicated) of race in the movie.


Comments (55)
  1. why does the new poster make it look like kristin davis just had a threesome with jason bateman and kristen bell?

    poor jon favreau, you stupid fuck.

  2. You know what else they clearly discriminate against in the new poster: WATER!

    “I hate when water touches clothing” -British People

  3. I don’t know. I think Faizon actually wins. He doesnt have to advertise that he was in a crappy crappy movie.
    But yeah, thats me ignoring the actual issue. Which is just too gross to even make a joke about.

  4. They got rid of the black people, but they added lots of flowers. And a suitcase. Let’s focus on the positive, people!

  5. It’s weird, though, that there are props in the British poster but not in the US poster. Maybe Faizon Love and Kali Hawk are really the Wonder Twins.
    “Form of… a LEI!”
    “Form of… SENSIBLE LUGGAGE!”

  6. Besides black people, the UK also hates the apple “reflect” effect.

  7. Real story here is the change in Kristen Davis’ motivation. In America, she is valiantly trying but failing to avoid her dress getting wet. In England, she is preparing to flash her cooter.

  8. As someone who obliged his girlfriend and allowed himself to be dragged to this movie, Faizon Love and Kali Hawk had the only moments where I didn’t want to load up my suicide gun and put it to my temple.
    That being said, movie sucked. And Vince Vaughn got super fat.

  9. Jean Reno made the cut!

  10. Way to make an innocent trash can look like an asshole, Gabe.

  11. Kristin Davis is dead set on showing some knee.

  12. To be fair, Winston didn’t show up until like the last third of Ghostbusters.

  13. Well, to be fair to someone or whatever, Faizon Love and Kali Hawk are the two least famous people in the movie. (I tried to come up with a defense for this, or temper this with NOT THAT I’M RACIST OR ANYTHING, but I can’t bring myself to care any further about anything involving Vince Vaughn, so this is all I will say.)

    • I think this poster [besides the whole racist aspect] looks better than the original. Perhaps the way they were photoshopping it they just didn’t have room for the unfamous people??

  14. they should have just added the suit case and taken out all the actors who totally phoned it in for this movie. at least the suit case was authentic.

  15. The film takes place in Tahiti, not Hawaii.

  16. “Well they cut Jean Reno out of both entirely!” – Nobody

  17. The Alabama posters have Michael Richards photo-shopped in JUST KIDDING! ;-)

  18. Regardless of whether erasing Big Worm from Friday and his unbelievable fictional sex partner from the poster constitutes “racism,” that whole marketing campaign just reminded me of this famous picture from the Internet, writ large and also four times:

  19. I am OK with the decision to lower the water line and photoshop in everyone’s knees. HOWEVER why did they decide to give Kristen Bell some wonky knock-knees and a skirt that is being mysteriously drawn up towards her ladyparts?

    • I have just spent way too long looking at the two posters, trying to decide if it’s photoshopped or an entirely different shot altogether. I think it’s both, given that it looks like Jason Bateman is wearing a girl’s shirt in the british one, (ie, he’s been reversed so the shirt now buttons on the girl side.), but Jon Favreau is not, so he’s from a different shot than the original, since he’s on the other side of the chick there.

      So, I think they took the british photo first, then backed everyone a few more feet into the water, and took the american one. Also, I think perhaps this is not the best use of my time.

  20. Fuck Racism. And Fuck this Shit Movie.

  21. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  22. can i complain about the order in which the names are displayed? cuz it looks sexist to me.
    also, how come jean reno gets so much love?
    i thought he died after Ronin

    i’m paraphrasing, of course

    • I missed the first ten minutes, why did Larry keep referring to that young girl’s “Pussy” on curbed last night?

  24. But why does Gabe’s make-believe racist studio executive have to be Asian, hmm?

  25. What’s worse: being removed from the original poster because you’re black or being “sexed up” for the new one because you are ugly?

  26. “It may be paradise, but it’s no vacation… For black people”

  27. This is like that game in Highlights for Kids! Spot the differences!

  28. Maybe they delegated the poster editing to whoever is in charge of casting Saturday Night Live.

  29. The actors were removed because they aren’t a big drawcard to the international market.
    Whether they are black is really inconsequential. They are just actors who aren’t as popular outside of America.

    However, if you want to get more in depth about the whole thing, their lack of appeal outside of America WOULD have to be due to cultural difference. Namely, the prevalence of African American culture within America vs internationally.

    Its like that “Madea” character. The only reason I (an Australian) have heard of Tyler Perry is because of websites like this, and watching Jay Leno. These movies are not released widely outside America because they would not appeal to our culture.

  30. I have made my choice. I will see the first one, but I will not see the second one.

  31. i really like the way malin akerman is stealing vince vaughn’s pancreas by shoving her entire arm into his ribcage. FORESHADOWING.

  32. “Let’s go see Couples Retreat in England in case there are no black people in it”
    -Tom Cruise

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