Anchor Bay, the distributor for film “The Sapphires” new DVD came under fire last week after an image surfaced of its U.S. branded DVD cover. Released in 2012, the award-winning film was applauded for its portrayal of The Sapphires—Naomi Mayers, Beverly Briggs, Lois Peeler and Laurel Robinson—and their struggles against sexism and racism in 1960s and 1970s Australia.
The existing DVD cover, intended for Australian audiences, prominently features The Sapphires, played by Deborah Mailman, Jessica Mauboy, Shari Sebbens and Miranda Tapsell, with their manager, played by Irish actor Chris O’Dowd, standing behind them. But in the new U.S. cover, the female actors are blurred into a blue background while their manager is thrust center stage.
(On the left: The new US Version of DVD Cover. On the Right: Original DVD Cover)
The original Sapphires that the movie is based on are protesting the change and calling on the NAACP for support. Chris O'Dowd has expressed his outrage, in a reply tweet when asked his thoughts, saying:
“it’s ridiculous, it’s misleading, it’s ill-judged, insensitive and everything the film wasn’t.”
There is a Change.org petition that is asking Anchor Bay to change the image before it is released.
Check out also: The Age
My personal opinion is that this should not have happened in the first place. The image is, without argument, sexist and racist. The original DVD cover was great and I see no reason why it needed to be change.