Umm, wait. Is Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri seriously trying to un-whitewash its core cast by pretending a little-known actor playing a small role has top billing?
Being charitable, Clarke Peters plays maybe the 10th largest role in the film — which is why other posters featured the more recognizable John Hawkes, who plays a significant role.
It was a bad choice to feature racism as a major plot point in a movie that has nothing but cardboard African-American characters. But it’s also a bad choice to pretend your movie didn’t do that by pasting an insignificant black character over a white one and pretending he’s one of the real stars of this film. This problem should have been solved in the script, not in a desperate, late-in-the-game marketing move by Fox Searchlight.
No offense to Clarke Peters, or anyone else in the cast, but Three Billboards In Ebbing, Missouri is really not a good look for cinema in 2017.
(From left, this ad features Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, Clarke Peter, and Peter Dinklage. It’s featured on a bus stop in Los Angeles.)