Here’s the latest flap involving marketing for a new TV show that has offended some L.A. citizens. Metro Los Angeles today yanked ads for Fox’s Red Band Society from its buses today after activists complained about offensive language. The ad features the cast of the hospital drama with mini-captions like “Coma Boy” and “The Player.” But the one that rankled folks was next to the photo of Oscar winner Octavia Spencer, labeling her “Scary Bitch.” So they’ve been pulled despite being on the buses for months — and one day after the series premiered. Metro LA tweeted about its decision today:
It later tweeted that its board chairman, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, and other board members are sorry that the ads went up and that “ad policy needs to be tightened to prevent ads with offensive language from being used in the future.”
Fox also apologized. “We were notified this morning of the concern around the ads and immediately offered to remove the language,” a network spokeswoman said. “Metro Los Angeles ultimately decided to take down the ads, and we respect that decision. We sincerely apologize if the copy was offensive to viewers.”
The hubbub reminds of another ad campaign that rubbed City of Angels denizens the wrong way earlier this summer. Back in July, FX agreed to take down some LA-area billboards for its new horror series The Strain that featured a worm protruding from the eyeball of an obvious distressed person. Seems some Angelenos, and their small children, found the image a mite offputting. “It may have been too far out there for some people, but I personally liked it,” that series’ showrunner Calrton Cuse told reporters in July.