Burger King Russia Demands 'It' Ban, Saying Clown Looks Like Ronald McDonald
Burger King's Russian division has filed a complaint with the country's Federal Anti-Monopoly Service (FAS), demanding that the movie It be banned in the country.
The company claimed that the movie's clown character Pennywise looks like Ronald McDonald and therefore works as an advertisement for the rival fast-food brand.
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A spokeswoman for the FAS confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that Burger King's complaint has been received and is being evaluated.
"We can't be concerned with the content of the film because the writer and director have their own creative understanding of any character," she said, adding that the agency would have to determine though whether the movie contains advertising or product placement.
There is no time frame for consideration of complaints of that kind.
Burger King has been actively expanding its operations in Russia and has been aggressively pushing new ideas. It was recently forced to explain to Russian regulators the issuance of its crypto currency, WhopperCoin, as crypto currencies are not allowed in the country.
Earlier this year, a video called It – McDonald's Edition was made available on YouTube, containing some of the movie's plot points and featuring Ronald McDonald instead of Pennywise.
It opened in Russia on Sept. 7 and has grossed $14 million in the country so far. As of Tuesday, the movie was still available in more than 100 movie theaters throughout Russia.
Russian social media users reacted sarcastically to Burger King's complaint. "I think that the head of Burger King Russia should have played Pennywise," a user said on Facebook.
by Richard Newby
by Graeme McMillan
by Carolyn Giardina
by Associated Press