Jennifer Lawrence disappears in a constructed reality of marketing the latest Hunger Games movie. It has been reported in Variety that “ a handful of cities across the Jewish State have cut Lawrence herself out of the film’s posters ”.
In the ultra-Orthodox suburb of Bnei Brak, as well as in the city Jerusalem – where several neighborhoods are heavily religious – only a censored version of the poster, featuring the image of the fiery crown is being displayed. Extreme adherents to Judaism consider any display of the female image to be immoral. Ultra-orthodox newspapers and catalogues commonly remove images of females from any images.
While this segment of the population is not the intended target audience for the movie, any advertisements in public space which is frequented by this group risks creating an offence to their cultural views. Since more militant/aggressive members of the group are known to vandalize images that depict women, it becomes necessary to be proactive in posting advertising.
Now, in some parts of the world, the news reports of such public attacks of movie posters would be seen as valuable publicity, in Israel such news reports produce a negative image of the country. So by modifying the advertisements, public behaviour itself is modified. This in turn constructs a reality that portrays Israel in a different light. Unfortunately, in this instance the significance of the movie and its female lead makes the altered poster news-worthy and as a consequence, the event creates much the same negative impact as would reports of vandalized posters. Some would see this as worse, since the self-censoring could be interpretation of capitulating to an extreme element of the Israeli population, rather than defying them and treating the vandalization as a criminal act.