The Australian newspaper reported yesterday that the advertising campaign for Queensland Theatre Company’s production of Romeo and Juliet has been removed from print.
The Advertising Standards Bureau deemed the image to depict a “teenager in a highly sexualised image”.
The advertisement features 26 year old actors Melanie Zanetti and Thomas Larkin, who are set to play the star crossed lovers in QTC’s production from April 21 this year.
The Australian reports: “the ASB found that regardless of her actual age, the actress appears to be “very young – at most a young teenager”.”
Although the photograph has been removed from Queensland Theatre Company’s print advertising, the image is still live on their website.
According to the article in The Australian, the image in question was brought to the attention of the Advertising Standards Bureau by a QLD solicitor, Ms Rory Quinn, after she read an advertisement for the production in The Weekend Australian Magazine in early December.
The term “suggestive of pedophilia” was used by Quinn in her complaint.
“As soon as I looked at the ad, it was offensive to me,” she was reported to have said .
The response from QTC was similar to other reactions sourced by AussieTheatre.com today, indicating that the character of Juliet is presumed to be no more than 16, and is studied in schools across the country in this context “with no censorship enforced in terms of Juliet’s intended age”.
QTC have since chosen a different image for their print advertising, which is also featured on their website.
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