Fox apologises for 'insensitive' X-Men: Apocalypse chokehold billboard

The promotional advertisement's been branded 'disturbing' and 'gratuitous'

Fox has apologised following an outcry over its promotional poster for recent superhero film X-Men: Apocalypse.

The image emblazoned on billboards across the world shows Oscar Isaac's villain Apocalypse grabbing the character of Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) by the neck. The tagline reads: 'Only the strong will survive."

Many deemed the poster 'gratuitous' with one billboard in New York being covered with sticky notes reading: "This violence in my kid's face is not OK."

Charmed actor Rose McGowan led the widespread calls for 20th Century Fox to remove the advertisement - and the studio has now responded by removing the poster from promotional materials for the chart-topping film.

"In our enthusiasm to show the villainy of the character Apocalypse we didn't immediately recognise the upsetting connotation of this image in print form," it announced in a written statement.

"Once we realised how insensitive it was, we quickly took steps to remove those materials. We apologise for our actions and would never condone violence against women."

X-Men: Apocalypse is the ninth film in the franchise and stars a mass ensemble of actors including Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy and Game of Thrones' Sophie Turner.

In a written statement to The Hollywood Reporter, McGowan said: “There is no context in the ad, just a woman getting strangled. The fact that no one flagged this is offensive and frankly, stupid,”

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