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  • U.S. DVD cover art for Aussie hit “The Sapphires” causes controversy

U.S. DVD cover art for Aussie hit “The Sapphires” causes controversy

Thursday, August 08, 2013 1:10 PM | Anonymous

The US Distributor of "The Sapphires" has apologized for the upset their cover art has caused. 

The Australian cover places the four leading Aboriginal women in the foreground and Chris O'Dowd in the background. The colors are bright.

The US cover downplays the four female leads, pushing them to the background, and covering them with a dull blue-wash, while O'Dowd's bright presence, placed front and centre, pulls focus.

Also, O'Dowd is the only actor to receive billing, with Deborah Mailman, Jessica Mauboy, Shari Sebbens and Miranda Tapsell's names left off completely. 

Many are calling the US cover racist and sexist. 


Anchor Bay Entertainment released a statement saying they regret "any unintentional upset" caused by the cover and that a "new cover art is being considered for future replenishment orders". 

The DVD hit U.S. stores with the controversial cover two days ago.

The U.S art prompted the original members of The Sapphires, whom the film is about, to write a letter voicing their disappointment to the U.S. civil rights organization, the National Association For The Advancement Of Colored People.

The letter, which was written on their behalf by the chairman of the Redfern Aboriginal Medical Service, stated:

"As I'm sure you can appreciate, the treatment of people of colour in Australia mirrored much of the trauma to which people in the United States were subjected. That trauma – and much of that treatment – remains alive and well in Australia today, as I know it does in the United States.”

“The US cover of the DVD completely misses this point, and in fact reinforces precisely the sort of bigotry that Naomi, Beverly, Lois and Laurel fought so hard against.”

A disappointed O'Dowd also Tweeted that the DVD cover is "ridiculous, misleading, ill-judged, insensitive and everything the film wasn't."

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