Sony Pictures found itself in hot water on Twitter yesterday after a tweet from its account for The Emoji Movie caught the ire of hundreds of people.
The tweet in question, which has since been deleted but can be seen in the screenshot below captured by Polygon, parodies Hulu’s breakthrough series, The Handmaid’s Tale. The series is based on Margaret Atwood’s award-winning novel about a dystopian future set in a Christian theonomy where women are forced to work in servitude as they try to gain their own independence and freedom.
Since the show’s debut on Hulu, it has been praised for its approach to the subject matter and applauded for its attention to relevancy in today’s modern world. All of which is why people were upset when they saw the tweet going around. As seen in the photo, it features an incredibly happy, female face poking out of the bonnet — an artifact of clothing used to restrict a woman’s identity.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, The Handmaid’s Tale costume designer, Ane Crabtree, said it was disturbing to come up with some of the costume designs for that very same dark reason.
“It was kind of twisted to think about how I would hinder women—their body shape, and also their movement and their freedom with the clothing,” Crabtree said.
It’s not supposed to be a joke — and although parodies of the series exist, those that pull off the humor tend to do so with an insightful eye, not just a misguided tweet.
My husband on the Emoji Movie and that awful Handmaid's Tale tweet. (Sharing with permission.) pic.twitter.com/XrdIoS541p— Tomris Laffly (@TomiLaffly) July 24, 2017
I can't decide what's worse, this gross ad or the fact that Emoji Movie is so below everyone's radar that nobody noticed it for two days pic.twitter.com/15toCAhkwZ— Victoria McNally (@vqnerdballs) July 24, 2017
And here’s a thread to see some of the other negative responses The Emoji Movie tweet got after posting the photo.
It took the internet about two days to realize the tweet was an actual thing that existed, but it’s clear Sony realized it was in the wrong. Polygon has reached out to Sony Pictures for comment, but a representative was unable to comment at the time of this writing.
The Emoji Movie will be released on July 28.