Assassination Nation is having a tough time advertising. The satiric riff on the Salem Witch Trials and contemporary social media, starring Suki Waterhouse and Hari Jef, is getting blocked from social media (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube) and from classic outlets like billboards.
Stills feature Nef, Waterhouse and their co-stars in leather jackets with guns. Sometimes they look terrified, sometimes homicidally angry. Other images show them pointing guns at the camera.
Neon’s distributor tells Variety that that social media platforms objected to guns and the stars’ relative "State of undress." But Christian Park, Neon’s marketing chief, thinks the ads were rejected for sexist reasons.
"We knew that this film was a stick of dynamite," Parkes told Variety. "We didn’t want to dress it up into something it isn’t. This isn’t a feel-good coming-of-age story. It’s a depressing meditation on where we are as a culture." Parkes added, "We’re not depicting a sanitized world. We’re making a movie about strong young women. People feel threatened because it is honest."
Cultural reception has been mixed. The Los Angeles Times called in an "exploitative horror."
The film opens Friday, September 21st.