Amazon Studios had plastered New York City subway seats with signage to promote its new drama The Man in the High Castle.
The problem? It used symbols that suggested Nazi Germany’s “Iron Eagle” and Japan’s Rising Sun from the World War II era.
That didn’t sit too well with New Yorkers, many of whom took pictures of the seats and posted them to social media questioning the usage of the symbols.
As a result, Amazon Studios has announced that the campaign is coming down.
“Amazon has just decided to pull the ads,” Kevin Ortiz, a spokesman for New York City Transit and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, told Variety in an email yesterday, adding that executives at Amazon were not available for comment.
Based on a Philip K. Dick novel, The Man in the High Castle debuted earlier in November and is already receiving acclaim. The drama tells the story of a fictionalized future, one in which the Axis powers won WWII, not the Allies.
The MTA stated that the ads, which were meant to be up through December along with subway posters in stations, were “acceptable” under the transit authority’s content guidelines. While the NYC MTA doesn’t “permit acceptance of ads that are designed to express opinion or advocacy of a cause,” according to Variety, “commercials for products — even abstract ones like TV shows — are deemed fit.”
New Yorkers disagreed, with even Mayor Bill deBlasio saying the ads were “irresponsible and offensive,” according to this report by Reuters on CNBC, and calling for them to come down. One of the Anti-Defamation League’s biggest points, as they told NYC city blog Gothamist, was that the ads would be deemed offensive to those not familiar with the context and the program.
You can watch a video from NBC New York 4 here: