Controversy: An Inconvenient Al Gore?

Why isn’t Al Gore anywhere on his movie poster? The Drudge Report wonders that today because not only his image but also his name is nowhere to be found on Paramount’s poster, not even among the film’s credits. This, though An Inconvenient Truth is Al’s “little slide show,” as he himself calls it, and stars the former vice president and 2000 Democratic presidential candidate. Was Paramount concerned that Gore’s photo or name would disincline 1/2 the country (i.e. Republicans) to see the film? Curious, I spoke to Paramount Vantage (aka Paramount Classics, previously) about this. I’m told that, no, Gore himself never asked for his name or photo not to be part of the poster campaign. But, yes, the studio had no intention of putting Gore on the poster in the first place. “He was never on the one-sheet and he is the subject of the doc. There’s no credit for that. He was never in the billing block,” a studio source tells me. “Someone is drumming up a fake story.”

When An Inconvenient Truth screened at Sundance, the poster used even before Paramount’s John Lesher bought the film was that humorous penguins-marching-through-the-desert image. Then, after the studio took control, its marketing department was looking for “a clever self-concept.” One runner-up was people sitting at a dinner table that’s almost underwater. There was an image of Gore used, but only at ShoWest (the movie industry gathering of national theater owners). The marketing department eventually settled on the rather dull smokestack emission-swirling-like-a-hurricane image. “Our goal was how we could illustrate this really big issue. It wasn’t any big decision. It was a real evolution.” But I’ve learned that Paramount is going back to the penguins campaign very soon.

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