‘12 Years a Slave’ Star Backs Out of Italian Premiere Following Poster Controversy

‘12 Years Slave' Star Backs Out

Lupita Nyong'o had been scheduled to attend the "Slave" Italo preem

The Italian premiere of “12 Years a Slave” officially kicked off Italy’s 18th annual Capri Hollywood film festival on Friday without talent in tow, following controversy sparked by the pic’s teaser posters that placed the focus on Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender rather than Chiwetel Ejiofor, the star of the film.

As previously reported, Italo distributor BIM Distribuzione, which will release the Steve McQueen-helmed drama in Italy on Feb. 20, has apologized, pulled the posters that sparked a racial discrimination uproar on the Internet, and announced they will be using the original U.S. materials for “Slave,” translated into Italian, for the pic’s Italo campaign going forward.

Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong’o, who is nominated for a Golden Globe for her role as Patsey in “Slave” and had been expected to attend the “Slave” Italo bow in Capri to introduce the pic, bowed out of the event. No reason was given.

However, a robust contingent of Hollywood and international stars is set to disembark on the Italo isle for the Dec. 27-Jan. 2 event, which is packed with Oscar hopeful titles this year. 

Ironically, racism and human rights are dominant themes at Capri’s current edition.

Upcoming screenings include Italo bows of “The Butler,” sans talent, and Nelson Mandela biopic “A Long Walk to Freedom,” with stars Idris Elba and Naomie Harris in tow along with Harvey Weinstein, whose TWC is releasing the pic Stateside.

Other confirmed Capri guests include Somali-American actor, director and producer Barkhad Abdi for “Captain Philips,” in which Abdi stars as a ship hijacker and pirate leader; thesp Chris Cooper for “August: Osage County,” which is having its European preem at the fest; and Capri regulars Terry Gilliam, Michael Radford and producer Mark Canton. Helmer David O. Russell, whose “American Hustle” is unspooling on the isle, was in Capri to receive a nod before the start of the event. 

The ample list of expected Italian guests includes helmer Paolo Sorrentino, whose “The Great Beauty” is a hot foreign-Oscar contender this year; Valeria Golino; Italo A-lister Riccardo Scamarcio; helmer Roberto Faenza; and Venice Golden Lion winner Gianfranco Rosi (“Sacro GRA”).

Headed by Pascal Vicedomini, a journo with pubcaster RAI, Capri Hollywood is a sister fest of Los Angeles-Italia and Ischia Global, all dedicated to establishing a creative and business bridgehead between Hollywood and Italy’s showbiz community.

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  1. lamigra says:

    This BS story is getting a lot more press than it deserves. What do Revs Jesse and Al have to say?

  2. justinc says:

    Haha people only go to this movie because it has Brad Pitt in it, not some unknown nobody.. He needs to stop crying himself a river before he drowns.

  3. Mark Sheats says:

    Does anyone care that he is not coming? I doubt it.

  4. Patrick Boyle says:

    This seems to be another case of an affected racial grievance.

    Brad Pitt is probably the biggest male star in movies today. In the poster shown, the relatively unknown black actor with the odd name is pictured in the front and has top billing. Presumably the distributors thought that Pitt’s face was better known and would draw more attention.

    This is a phony controversy.

  5. None says:

    Manufactured outrage strikes again. From a marketing standpoint do you feature a recognizable face (Brad Pitt) versus an unknown black actor?

  6. Ken says:

    I didn’t even know Pitt was in 12 Years.

  7. Pops150 says:

    He showed ’em! He did, didn’t he?

  8. Fergy Turf says:

    Instead of being adult and addressing his issue properly, he stomps off holding his breath? Classy…..

  9. Bill says:

    Once again.. It’s all about race

  10. You’re an idiot. Pitt is in the movie for about 2 minutes. Lots or ranting but you’re saying absolutely nothing except you know nothing about what you’re talking about.

  11. And that what? Somehow makes it okay that 15,000,000 people were stolen from one spot and taken in chains to another to slave for hundreds of years? Get real. Moron.

    • Troytoyou says:

      Actually Ward,what it means is that the enslavement of Africans wasn’t just a Caucasian issue. It took their own African people selling them for there to be an ability of the Caucasians to buy them.

      Yes, slavery was wrong, but the way it happened isn’t as narrow as is implied.

  12. Neils Clausen says:

    Holywood privledge! You are not the big name, so you dont win the poster! Get over it! I bet you didnt get paid as much as Brad, either!

  13. dallasTEXAN says:

    I bet she wont have any problems spending all that offensive money she makes from this film…. Pathetic

  14. Cynthia says:

    My sentiments exactly, well stated and oh so very true!

  15. Jamie Tine says:

    so he got mad because the poster featured a white guy? sounds racist to me. Seems pitt is more famous in italy, and will draw people in. The way it works is, The big name draws the people in, you co-star, people see the movie, they come out knowing who you are. You become the big name. It’s not the other way around, what an ego maniac.

  16. Will Smith says:

    Everything is race when blacks don’t get their way. I’m sick of it and it has made actually made me resent them more than I ever had. And stop telling me how I should think.

  17. Wayne says:

    That freaking Brad Pitt is such a freaking RACIST!!!!! (sarcasm)

  18. RonAre says:

    Yes, the black guy is a real movie star!!! That’s why NOBODY even knows his name! Kinda like Obama was a genius because he was black and could read somebody elses words from a teleprompter!

    I’m sick of the leftist democrat perverts and racists in Hollywood.

    • John says:

      That’s hilarious!! Definitely can’t argue with that. Back in grade school the black kids would copy off my work so they could pass. They know how to copy off people’s papers…and ‘read someone else’s work.’

      That’s not racist….that’s a fact!

  19. Jack Levitt says:

    Perpetual victim class.

  20. Chuwi says:

    “What difference does it make” we the people are too broke to go to movies anymore thanks to Obamacare.

  21. Sara56 says:

    Lupita Nyong’o bowed out of attending the premiere. No reason was given. So why make it appear that it was because of the poster controversy? She’s got a mouth. She doesn’t need other people putting words into it.

  22. Sharin says:

    If, as an African-American, you are still complaining about racism, you are missing the important point…she is black and she is one of the stars for pity’s sake. Where is the intelligence, the honest discourse, the actual truth and facts? Not in the black world!

  23. Max Eliot says:

    Brad Pitt is in this remarkable movie for all of ten minute at the most. Of course it is offensive to the stars of the film, regardless of color. But had Pitt been black in the same small part, he would not be on the poster as if he were the lead.

    • Jack Levitt says:

      Brad Pitt sells movie tickets, This unknown actress makes people yawn and think about seeing another number. Liberal guilt can only sell a very limited number of movie tickets.

  24. etee says:

    When I see a Black man or woman on the poster for a flic I don’t bother renting it. It’s not my culture and I’m not interested in their problems.

    • Vincent says:

      I ask myself is it wrong for me to feel that way? That said; never owned a slave, and I am not responsible for my ancestor’s conduct. There are community issues that need to be addressed, however I am not Black, and I too am not interested in their issues. We are all responsible for our own behavior it is up to each of us to address our own difficulties.

  25. Why dont those damn jives get a life?

  26. robertv says:

    Isnt it racist to complain about people of another color on a poster?
    Martin Luther King Jr would be ashamed.

  27. RickyBobby says:

    even when Hollywood cowers and tells the story as they want….its not good enough….its never going to be good enough enough….until of course they are in charge and whites are the slaves…wonder if the whites will do the same as the Africans and become the traders and brokers of the slaves…still happens today…don’t hear squat about that…

    And no doubt this guys handlers decided this was a great PR move on the back of all the slaves he portrays…Jesse Jack(ass)son like stunt.

    No matter what we do we can’t change history.

    • Cynthia says:

      The black man will never be content until he has the white man in chains. It appears as though it may soon become a reality with ObaMao at the helm….

    • Jack Levitt says:

      I would sell liberals into slavery if the buyer promised never to bring them back to America.

    • Kru Satyr says:

      RB: “No matter what we do we can’t change history.”

      Pigressives 1. revise history, 2. mine the revision to create guilt, 3. exploit guilt as a resource, albeit mythical. Note how the artifice of Race guilt, Enviro guilt and Wealth guilt dominate virtually all of the left’s rationale, every fkg time they open their fkg mouths.

  28. RonAre says:

    Slavery was the best thing to ever happen to blacks.Most slaves were prisoners of tribal war. There were three choices for them after capture by other priminive black tribes…..

    1) being sold as a slave by black people
    2) becoming dinner for the victorious tribe of black people.
    3) being clubbed to death by other blacks

    Slave or someone’s dinner? You choose!

    Black people always have been, are, and always will be their own worst enemy!

  29. Did this upset the Queers too?

  30. RonAre says:

    Yawn……..Another no name. no talent actor nominated because he is black and in a movie about slaves.

    Get over it. Unless YOU yourself were a slave…….then please go sue the person who owned you!

  31. Romaine Sharpling says:

    While I love lloking @ Brad Pitt, the star of the movie should have been on the poster. This makes it seem Pitt was the slave for 12 years.

  32. lavin says:

    I just spit out my coffee. Thank you fine sir. You have just made my day

  33. annoyed says:

    oh and as a follow up… WHO CARES

  34. Pamela says:

    Problems like this arise when the enemy is allowed to tell the story. Brad Pitt is not the star of this film, therefore, there should be no huge, prominent picture of his mug above the star. But I expect nothing better from the Italians. Just look at who they allied themselves with during the war. Next!

  35. annoyed says:

    brad pitt is an actual movie star no one knows the other guy so why would they put him on the poster?

  36. Mike0oSS says:

    I wasn’t going to see this flick anyhow…I never watch black movies. I can’t see the actors. I’m color blind.

  37. ernaldo says:


  38. Everett Lunday says:

    let’s face it Chiwetel, Brad or Chiwetel as a draw?

  39. Bud Who?– “White privilege exists” because in the natural and evolutionary spheres inequality is the order of reality. All systems based on ‘Equality of outcomes” are denial of reality and fact. They are lies.

    Every race, ethnic group, nation and civilization should take pride in, protect, and preserve its identity. Maybe “white privilege” exists because in Art, in Architecture, in Science, in Religion, in Medicine and the healing arts, in philosophy and the ordering of society, in all these and more, the accomplishments of Western Civilization are the Glory of the Human Race, Bud.

    • Beth White says:

      The whites were just lucky enough to settle on the continents that would eventually have the good roads, schools, and hospitals. If the Blacks had migrated to Europe and North America and found themselves the beneficiaries of the great industrialization lottery, the whites would be crying about Black Privilege

  40. Ken Ya says:

    Your average “African American” actually believes that Europeans simply waltzed into Africa and started snatching people up. This is the biggest historical lie since the trojan horse. Slaves were SOLD by West Africans to the West. FACT.

  41. I can see the Hollywood moguls sitting around mulling out the poster layout…” should we put Brad Pitt on the poster or that Cheweaties guy?”

  42. Ken Ya says:

    Did you know that in certain countries, this is how it is. For instance, in China, advertisers will not use black or even C hinese models. only blonde, white models to sell high end cosmetics. It’s called aspirational marketing, Here, who do you think brings gate, brad pitt or the guy playing the slave?

  43. Johnno66 says:

    A film about slavery…. they could have slaved money and just used DNC campaign posters featuring the Donkey.

  44. Charli says:

    Brad Pitt is in the movie for all of 12 minutes so it’s kind of crazy that he would be on the poster. I don’t think it is racial but I think they were trying to exploit his star power. Anyone going to see the movie could blink and miss him.

  45. The majority of white people don’t have a clue. White privilege exists; it is blinding obvious everywhere one looks. When we whites get passed over for a job or promotion we don’t even pause to wonder if it is because we are the “wrong” colour. We don’t get called racist names – be honest when was the last time a person of colour called you a racist name?

    Hollywood is racist. Even when movies are about black people, star black people and are produced by black people, somehow the studios and distributors manage to make it all about the whites. To get a movie made in the first place there has to be some white star or a white saviour aspect to the story.

    The terms “political correctness” and “race baiting” are mostly used by racists.

    Closed, narrow minds. We whites have it easy so we just don’t give a flying one. When the inconvenient truth is pointed out we make excuses. The comments on this story are embarrassing. They give the impression that all whites are as ignorant and bigoted as the majority of posters here.

    • Well, since your so inclined to be apologizing for what your forefathers may have done to certain people of s different color. ..

      has it ever occurred to you that this film is supposed to address the ISSUE of slavery, condemn it, and highlight honorbale people?

      nope. One whimpy, selfish, unforgiving woman who happens to have black skin (in most of our opinions, we don’t see a difference in color)… she made a PR move to insult all of her white actors.

      Fact is, the claim of racism also extended to poor Brad Pit. who in no wise is a racist.

      Forgive, and never apologize for being “privileged”. it doesnt exist here.
      ‘You shall not punish the father for the sins of the son, nor the son for the sins of the father.”

    • Yes, racists like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson.

    • Noah Fing-Whey says:

      Yes I know what you mean!

      Every time I get punched in the head when I’m not looking I feel really privileged.

      When I have to leave the downtown area before night I say to myself, “My, my aren’t you so lucky!”

      When my taxes go up so someone in government can give my money to someone else I get absolutely giddy thinking about how good it is!

      White privilege! That’s what I’m talkin’ about!

      • QueensGambit says:

        Feels great doesn’t it? And we love taking advantage of right wing fux with our communist, kenyan, muslim, negro hordes!! Can’t wait to bring more mexicans and africans in and knock you over the heads with our big dix!

      • Noah, there’s this thing called a bigger picture. It’s not all about you and your narrow experience.

        You don’t *have* to leave downtown before night. That’s your choice. What does getting punched in the head have to do with it? Are you implying that black people punch you in the head for no reason?

        Your taxes go up to line the pockets of the rich – most of whom are white.

    • Gman says:

      You are an lDlOT!

  46. HansJurgen says:

    Slavery was horrible, but it was their own folks who sold them into slavery since they didn’t want them either. So, the slaves that came to America had a better life than what they would have had if they weren’t sold into slavery. Their own folks would have chopped them up, cooked them, and eaten them. So, get over it – “slaves” as you think you still are; and enjoy what “whitey” has given you. Blacks have contributed nothing of value to any society worldwide. Look at all the good things you have – whitey invented those goodies. Enjoy, or I wish we could send you “slaves” back to where you can realize reality in Africa – if that is what you want.

  47. Mike says:

    Slavery. Get over it and MOVE ON.

  48. The unknown black guy didn’t boycott the premier…he was just too embarrassed to be seen in his chauffeur uniform after driving Brad Pitt to the ceremonies.

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