Amazon Pulls ‘Man in the High Castle’ Nazi-Themed Ads From NYC Subways
Amazon has slowly-but-surely picked up steam and recognition for its original programs, but in the case of its alt-reality Man in the High Castle, the wrong kind of attention can be a disaster. The outlet has officially opted to pull Nazi-themed advertisements from an ill-advised placement in New York subways, following outrage from citizens and the Anti-Defamation League.
For those unfamiliar with the series, Amazon’s newly-released The Man in the High Castle adapts an old Philip K. Dick novel to imagine a 1962 in which the United States had lost World War II, and subsequently been divided between the German “Greater Nazi Reich,” and the “Japanese Pacific States.”
As part of the advertising campaign, Amazon outfitted Manhattan’s 42nd st. shuttle between Times Square and Grand Central with imagery of both fictional powers, though the lacking context confused and outraged a great many:
Variety confirmed that Amazon had opted to pull the advertisements without comment, following waves of protest from NYC figures like Mayor Bill deBlasio and the Anti-Defamation League, while Entertainment Weekly spoke to series creator Frank Spotnitz of the “unfortunate” error:
It’s very difficult with a show with subject matter like this to market it tastefully, so I understand they’re walking a very difficult line. If they had asked me, I would have strongly advised them not to do it. … I read what the director of the Anti-Defamation League said, and I thought he was 100 percent correct, which is that when you take these symbols out of the context of the show, then they can be offensive and upset people. Within the show, there is a context where you see why [they’re used], but just to put them out like that without the context was unfortunate.
EW also notes that the series has experienced some difficulty with production, including location shoots with many properties refusing to display any Nazi symbolism, leaving The Man in the High Castle to fill in most of its offensive imagery with post-production CG. Obviously, failing to display adequate context of Nazi symbolism in New York City displayed poor judgment, but is Amazon’s new series worthy of the risk?
You can check out The Man in the High Castle trailer below, and watch all episodes on Amazon Prime.