HBO Max Removed Cigarettes And Cigars From Classic Movie Posters On Its Streaming Platform
There was a time when seeing tobacco products on movie posters was normal but not any longer; they’ve come for the cigars, cigarettes, and cigarillos — even if those were there virtually forever.
HBO Max isn’t the first corporate entity to crack down on displays of tobacco in their films and accompanying imagery, but they’ve joined a crusade akin to Ray Bradbury’s dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451.
Subscribers like Pete Salisbury(@Tuckerpete) noticed lately the streaming platform is scrubbing cigarettes from old posters for Westerns starring Warren Beatty and Paul Newman.
Twitter users report HBO Max removed Warren Beatty’s and Paul Newman's cigars from movie poster art used on its home page:
McCabe & Mrs. Miller.
The Life and Times of Roy Bean. pic.twitter.com/QLPz0olJz1
— Pete Salisbury @Tuckerpete (@Tuckerpete) September 13, 2022
The social media user tweeted standard and altered versions of posters for McCabe & Mrs. Miller and The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean with the comment “No Smoking! Twitter users report HBO Max removed Warren Beatty’s and Paul Newman’s cigars from movie poster art used on its home page.”
Eric Vilas-Boas, a writer for Vulture, shared more examples he found of cigarettes being omitted digitally from a poster for the 1970 Kirk Douglas adventure There Was A Crooked Man and from a still from Hong Kong director Wong Kar-Wai’s 1995 film Fallen Angels.
The writer labeled it a “bizarre” side-by-side to behold in his Twitter thread.
— Eric Vilas-Boas 🖋 @ericvb.bsky.social (@e_vb_) September 13, 2022
Vilas-Boas also found there is the occasional exception, providing a few examples to back his claim, indicating “there doesn’t seem to be a ton of rhyme or reason to it.”
— Eric Vilas-Boas (@e_vb_) September 13, 2022
Vilas-Boas’s coverage for Vulture added further, “Cigarettes and pipes dangle from the lips of characters in posters for ‘The Nitwits’, ‘A Story of Floating Weeds,’ and ‘The Man Who Knew Too Much.’ On a more recent, HBO-produced film, Alessandro Nivola is seen lighting up a cigarette in the image for ‘The Many Saints of Newark.'”
HBO Max has yet to respond to outreach for comments so everybody is left wondering why they’d be so picky and choosy about the posters they erase tobacco and smoking from when there is smoking on top of bloody violence and hard drug use in many films they have in their library.
If their prejudice applies to marijuana in stills or posters is another story.