Chloe Grace Moretz Apologizes for Her New Animated Movie's Terrible, Body-Shaming Ad

All Images: Locus
All Images: Locus

Photos recently surfaced of a truly terrible advertising campaign at this year’s Cannes Film Festival for Red Shoes & the 7 Dwarfs, a 2018 animated film that’s being produced by South Korean studio Locus Corporation. Star Chloe Grace Moretz has come out and apologized for the now-canceled advertising campaign, which flat-out stated Snow White was “no longer beautiful” because she wasn’t thin.

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While Moretz and the producer swear the movie’s actually about empowering women and girls to accept themselves no matter their size, I have my doubts:

Pictured: My doubts about this movie (from trailer)
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The billboard in question—advertising a film most people had barely heard about beforehand—promised a twist on the classic Snow White tale, centered around the following theme: “What is Snow White was no longer beautiful and the 7 Dwarfs not so short?”

Taller dwarfs, sure. But, how is the movie’s Snow White not beautiful? Is she an ogre like Shrek’s Fiona, or an actual swan, like in Swan Lake?

Nope, she just weighs more.

Since then, Moretz has come out and apologized for the Cannes marketing campaign, saying neither she nor her PR team had any part of it.

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Producer Sujin Hwang also told the Daily Dot they’ve canceled the ad, regretfully adding that it had the “opposite effect” of the message they were trying to send about their upcoming film. That message, supposedly, is not about body-shaming larger women... it’s actually about empowering them!

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Look how inspired they are by her empowerment (from other trailer).

According to the synopsis, Red Shoes is a parody film about Snow White living on Fairy Tale Island, “a celebrity world” where you’re judged by how you look and how much you weigh, so she wears a pair of magical red shoes to make herself look skinnier. Seven handsome and super-talented princes also live on this island, and a curse (that only a princess can cure) transforms them into dwarfs. While questing to find her lost father, presumably with the dwarfs alongside her, Snow White learns to accept and celebrate who she is, both inside and out.

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Illustration for article titled Chloe Grace Moretz Apologizes for Her New Animated Movies Terrible, Body-Shaming Adem/emem/em

Okay, that premise sounds really stupid, but it’s not “entirely” awful. It’s about accepting yourself for who you are, even in the face of peer pressure. The only problem is, that’s not what the movie appears to be about at all—at least not according to the trailers that starting debuting almost a year ago (only main thing we’ve seen changed since then is that the dwarfs are green now).

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The original Red Shoes & the 7 Dwarfs teaser trailer presented the film as a lewd parody where Snow White was objectified for her body— it included a scene showing her sexily undressing in her room in full view of some peeping dwarfs, who became visibly horrified when they realize taking off her shoes meant Snow gained weight. Another teaser featured one of the dwarfs, presumably her love interest (based on other photos of their before-and-after transformations), viciously attacking the sleeping Snow White to get access to her red shoes.

Neither of those trailers imply that the movie’s story will be empowering to women in the slightest; in fact, they convey the polar opposite. Everything we’ve seen so far is unpleasant and demeaning. Now, Moretz and the producers are telling us the film is something else entirely (despite all the evidence to the contrary), and that we just have to take their word for it. But it’s going to take more than just empty platitudes, or even a non-horrible new trailer, to get us to even consider giving Red Shoes & the 7 Dwarfs a chance. Honestly, unless this movie rises like a phoenix from the ashes to become the new Frozen, there’s little it can do to repair the damage it’s already caused. Save your breath and re-watch Shrek 2.

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[The Hollywood Reporter]

Video Editor and Staff Writer at io9. My doppelganger is that rebelling greeting card from Futurama.

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DISCUSSION

gatehousauthor
GatehousAuthor

Here’s the thing... the way the movie is being described by Moretz and by the producers, it sounds like they’re trying to make a movie that starts out with the body shaming and through the magic of movies and random adventures, Snow and the dwarves learn a lesson about beauty and acceptance... which sounds like a potentially beautiful (okay, maybe not beautiful, but at least to some extent worthwhile) story to tell if handled with grace and dignity.

And then we have the teaser trailers, and that extremely poorly thought out ad... which do nothing to support what Moretz and the filmmakers say the movie is about.

What I think happened here is, the filmmakers made a movie trying to tell the story they’re describing (remains to be seen if they did it well or not). Then the marketing folks put together the teaser with out of context footage from early in the movie showing that everyone is obsessed with thinness and beauty and the magical shoes, and not giving any real idea that this movie is anything at all more than that. And then they put out an ad with a terrible tag line.

Every synopsis I’ve read of this movie, even the ones from before the teasers were cut, talks about it in terms of a movie about empowering women and showing that beauty isn’t confined to just a specific face/body type/look. So what I hope happened is, they hired a REALLY crappy advance marketing team, who had no idea how to market the movie. I’ll grant you, that’s giving a LOT of benefit of the doubt to the filmmakers, but it certainly wouldn’t be the first time that a marketing campaign completely missed the point of the movie they were marketing. So I’m reserving judgment on the movie itself. I certainly hope that the movie IS what the filmmakers and Moretz say it is... only time will tell.