Faizon Love Sues Universal Over ‘Racist’ Couples Retreat Poster


Faizon Love is suing Universal for allegedly being racist.

The actor has reportedly filed a suit against the studio after he and his co-star Kali Hawk were removed from the poster for the 2009 movie Couples Retreat.

They were both included in the US advertisements for the film but were edited out of the international posters.

According to reports, the 52-year-old claims that movie execs had “no problem featuring Black actors” in the film itself, but “when it came to publicizing the film to international audiences, Universal Studios chose to segregate the motion picture’s White and Black actors”.

In documents seen by Deadline, it says: “Mr Love and his Black costar, Kali Hawk, were expunged completely from the film’s principal international advertisement, while the other ‘couples’ basked in the publicity and acclaim of an international box office hit.”

US poster (left) alongside the international version. Credit: Universal
US poster (left) alongside the international version. Credit: Universal

The comedy starred Vince Vaughn, Malin Åkerman, Jason Bateman, Kristin Davis, Jon Favreau and Kristen Bell. On the US poster, Mr Love and Ms Hawk can be seen standing at the back behind the other three couples.

However, neither of them were to be seen on the advert used outside of the US.

Mr Love said that following their removal Universal offered them both an apology and assured them that the poster would be destroyed.

The court documents also claim the studio promised him “lucrative, career-making film roles” to prevent a legal case.

Mr Love also alleges at the time that Vaughn advised him not to make such a big deal out of it as it would “not be good for his career at that time”.

However, as of July 2020, Mr Love claims that the poster was still in circulation and had not been removed as he had been told.

The comedian alleges that this demonstrates “willful discrimination” and “systematic bigotry” on the part of Universal.

Mr Love and Kali Hawk were allegedly told the international poster would be destroyed. Credit: Universal Pictures
Mr Love and Kali Hawk were allegedly told the international poster would be destroyed. Credit: Universal Pictures
Odeon Cinemas Will Not Show Universal Pictures After Row Over Theatrical Releases
published at7 months ago

Because of cinemas having to close earlier this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, some studios began releasing films that otherwise would have seen a theatrical release online and on-demand.

After NBCUniversal’s boss Jeff Shell remarked on the success of the video on-demand release of Trolls World Tour earlier this month, during which it earned $100m (£80m), he added that the company might choose to release films simultaneously on video on-demand as well as in theatres.

This prompted a response from Adam Aron, the boss of cinema chain AMC, who said that the company wanted to ‘have its cake and eat it too’, and added that his theatres will no longer show Universal Pictures films when the theatres re-open.

At the time, Aron wrote a letter to Universal Studios chairwoman Donna Langley in which he said: “It is disappointing to us, but Jeff’s comments as to Universal’s unilateral actions and intentions have left us with no choice.

“Therefore, effectively immediately AMC will no longer play any Universal movies in any of our theaters in the United States, Europe or the Middle East.”



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