News Article

Giving the Fingers

Peace sign is airbrushed from movie ads. Warner Bros. gets skittish over Amanda Bynes' flashing fingers

What a girl wants, if she's Amanda Bynes, is an opening weekend at the box office without any controversy that might keep ticket buyers away. You'd think that would be easy enough with ''What a Girl Wants,'' the teen star's seemingly innocuous comedy (opening this Friday) about a free-spirited American girl who goes to England to meet her stuffy, aristocratic father.

But the print ads show Bynes standing between two Beefeater guards and flashing a peace sign with her fingers. Fearing that audiences might not consider that a Churchillian V-for-victory sign, distributor Warner Bros. has airbrushed the finger gesture out of some print ads, instead stuffing Bynes' hand into her jeans pocket.

Speaking to Variety, a Warner Bros. spokeswoman explained the change, calling it, ''a reflection of our desire not to create the perception of a political statement in a completely non-political movie.'' Still, the airbrushing has not been consistent. While the finger-free ads have appeared in such papers as the Los Angeles Times and the New York Observer, banner ads on the Web, including on EW.com, still show Bynes flashing the peace sign.

As for Bynes, who turns 17 on Thursday, she has not commented on the ad flap, but the studio spokeswoman says she was informed of the airbrushing and did not object.

Originally posted Mar 31, 2003
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