Under the Radar

Turtles of 9/11


Children of the 1980’s and 90’s will fondly remember the smack-talking, pizza-eating, Shredder-beating action of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” Originally a comic, the Turtles gained widespread fame in the 1987 cartoon of the same name. It’s been nearly three decades since their conception and the Turtles are going strong with a new movie directed by Michael Bay. While everyone hops on the nostalgia train (or inwardly groans about Michael Bay tackling another 80’s franchise), advertising for the movie produced an image that many call insensitive.

An unfortunate oversight, one poster for the movie displays all four turtles diving out of an exploding skyscraper complete with badass ninja action poses. Normally this type of imagery would seem benign to most people, but the release date for the movie, September 11th, is prominently displayed underneath the image. For many, the connection between an exploding building and the date is too strong a reminder of the tragic events of September 11th, 2001.


According to NBC News, The image came from Paramount Pictures branch in Australia, and was released on Twitter as well as Facebook. Both postings received a firestorm of criticism and were promptly taken down. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Michael Bay was furious when he saw the poster. "When I woke up and saw that, I said, 'Are you kidding me?' That was a silly, dumb mistake," Bay said.

"Trust me - I yelled at them. Normally everything goes through me, and no one showed me that poster."

Although the events of September 11th, 2001 are 13 years in the past, it is still a painful memory for many. Veterans and service members alike hold 9/11 in a unique regard considering the effect that day had in shaping U.S. foreign policy, and the wars that followed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Despite being an unfortunate oversight, Paramount Pictures learned firsthand how aware the U.S. still is about that fateful day.

Do you feel the redacted poster is offensive or insensitive? Sound off below.

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