The movie Couples Retreat is about just what its title implies -- four couples who go away on an island retreat. One of those couples happens to be black. Here in the United States, that apparently isn't a problem. Just check out the U.S. movie poster:
But in the United Kingdom, that is apparently an issue. Here's the poster used for the UK release of the film:
In response to accusations of racism, a spokesman for Universal Studios said the altered poster aimed "to simplify the poster to actors who are most [recognizable] in international markets."
While it is true that Faizon Love and Kali Hawk are not as well known as Vince Vaughn and Kristin Davis from Sex in the City, American films with black stars often fare poorly overseas. According to a 2007 article in The New York Times, U.S. box office king Will Smith ranks 12th internationally. Simply put, said industry watcher James Ulmer, "The international marketplace is still fairly racist."
Universal, though, is taking the controversy seriously, apologizing for offending anyone and saying it will not use the altered poster in any other overseas markets.