(EDGE) Sony Pictures U.K. is coming under fire this week after tweeting out a promotional picture of the "Call Me By Your Name" that many believed was an attempt to "straight wash" the gay drama, the Guardian reports.
The critically acclaimed coming-of-age film, which is an Oscar frontrunner, stars Timothy Chalamet as a young man on summer vacation in Italy in the '80s as he falls in love with an older man, played by Armie Hammer. After debuting at Sundance earlier this year, "Call Me By Your Name," directed by out filmmaker Luca Guadagnino, has gone on to be lauded by critics, earning a 98% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Earlier this week, Sony Pictures U.K. attempted to promote the film but faced an outcry by Twitter users who said the company was "straight-washing" the movie. In a tweet, Sony posted a photo of Chalamet and costar Esther Garrell, with whom Chalamet's character has relations in the film. A quote from Empire magazine is superimposed on the pic, which reads, "It's a romance overwhelming in its intensity, a heart that swells until it has to burst."
The tweet has since been deleted.
The Guardian's Benjamin Lee, who is critical of the post, adds:
"...instead of focusing on the winsome gay romance at its centre, a deliberately misleading still was used of Timothee Chalamet, who plays the focal teen, joyfully posing alongside Esther Garrel...It led to users replying with similarly inaccurate film stills...and after a well-earned roasting, it was deleted."
Lee goes on to write:
"...the tweet served as a reminder of an awkwardness that lingers in mainstream spaces. In trying to position the film as a romance intended for a wide audience, Sony believed that fooling straight viewers was the way to go, implicitly suggesting that a same-sex relationship would be off-putting to most. It's a damaging implication but not a unique one."
Read Lee's full report, where he chronicles similar incidents of "straight-washing," by clicking here.
Below, check out Twitter users taking aim at Sony's now-deleted tweet.
Pretty offensive and disingenuous, @SonyPicturesUK, to try and sell this gay romantic film as heterosexual. What are you afraid of? Be proud— Josh Zinn (@joshzinn) November 7, 2017
Why are you making it look like a heterosexual romantic film? Erasure in advertising to appeal to the mass market, hm?🤔— Joe Dimmock🏳️🌈 (@joedimmock) November 7, 2017
Sony Pictures seem to have tried some straight-washing marketing for Call Me By Your Name and then deleted the tweet. pic.twitter.com/58Q7yg356b— Neil Claxton (@MintRoyale) November 7, 2017