Italian distributor BIM Distribuzione found itself in hot water when bloggers pointed out that Pitt, who co-produced the flm and appears in it for five minutes, featured prominently on 12 Years a Slave posters around Italy -- instead of Ejiofor. Michael Fassbender appeared on other posters.
When Summit Entertainment said they would investigate the "unauthorized" posters and have them recalled, BIM Distribuzione apologized in a statement Thursday:
We apologize for creating and releasing unauthorized posters for 12 Years a Slave in Italy featuring Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender in a manner inconsistent with approved advertising materials. All inappropriate materials have now been withdrawn. We are very proud of the film and regret any distraction this incident may have caused.
Blogger Carefree Black Girl, who lives in Italy, called attention to one particular poster earlier this week.
"I don’t remember Brad Pitt being the protagonist of the film or having such a pivotal role in the story to stay in the middle of the poster…," she wrote.
"I sure don’t know anything about marketing strategy to appeal audiences but isn’t this going to [sic] far?" she added.
12 Years a Slave is based on the autobiography of a free black man named Solomon Northrup, who lives in antebellum New York with his family before he's kidnapped and sold into slavery.