Did GQ and Amy Schumer harm the Star Wars and Disney brands with a parody on the August cover that has Schumer in some compromising positions with iconic Star Wars characters? Or is this an example of “Any publicity is good publicity?”
It really comes down to whether you are a Schumer fan or a Star Wars fan. Many hardcore Star Wars fans took to social media to voice their displeasure when the images were released – saying the characters should not have been used in such a suggestive way. Given how similar the likenesses were, some assumed that the studio had to have approved.
The studio quickly and consistently replied via its Twitter handle that “Lucasfilm and Disney did not authorize, participate in or condone the inappropriate use of our characters in this manner.” As such, this could turn out to be a win-win for everyone.
Schumer gets buzz for her new film, “Trainwreck,” which opened to big audiences this past weekend. Her image as a comedian willing to go anywhere for a laugh is also reinforced. GQ gets attention for its upcoming issue. And Disney and Lucasfilm get to play the grown-ups in the room by making it clear this was not something they did, but not going so far as to threaten to sue GQ or Schumer. The studios also get to hype its upcoming release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
Disney and Lucasfilm deserve credit for delivering a clear message that defends their brands without turning the episode into battle scene. They rightly understand that the light sabers and Death Star ought to be reserved for more important matters.
Melissa Arnoff is a Senior Vice President at LEVICK and a contributing author to LEVICK Daily.