An attempt to build excitement for the Australian release of Paramount’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, directed by Jonathan Liebesman, went awry Tuesday when the studio’s @ParamountAU Twitter account shared a poster featuring the characters jumping toward the viewer from an exploding building emblazoned with the movie’s Australian release date: Sept. 11.
The tweet was quickly deleted, but as BuzzFeed noted, reaction online to the poster was swift and negative, with many upset by the accidental — but unmistakable — evocation of the World Trade Center attacks of 2001.
“WHO thought that poster would be a good idea considering date?? Or did they just think no one would notice or indeed care?” asked one Twitter user. “This poster…with a #September11 release date??? Everything about this project is in bad taste,” complained another. (Not everyone took offense; one user instead joked that it “does raise some questions: Where were those turtles on that fateful morning?”)
Paramount deleted the tweet and removed the image from Facebook.
“We are deeply sorry to have used that artwork for the marketing materials promoting the September 11 opening in Australia,” said Paramount Australia in a statement. “Combining that image and date was a mistake. We intended no offense and have taken immediate action to discontinue its use.”