AMC is under fire tonight for a new Mad Men promo that is leaving some with visions of 9/11. Billboards showing Don Draper falling through endless white have appeared in major cities across the country, including New York — a city whose memories of 9/11 victims falling from the upper floors of the World Trade Center are still all too fresh, even more than ten years later.
“It seems that Hollywood — and now advertising — doesn’t care about the sensitivities of the families and New Yorkers,” Nancy Nee, the sister of slain firefighter George C. Cain, told the New York Times. “People will say we need to move on, it’s been 10 years, the usual callous responses to things of this nature. But as a family member, these images are disturbing when you’re not prepared or in the mood to see them.”
Not all family member of victims agree. “I am so worn out by you guys coming to us in order to create a kerfuffle where none exists,” Rita Lasar, sister of victim Abraham J. Zelmanowitz, wrote when asked by the Times for comment. “You may think you are being sensitive to our feelings, but in reality you are just using us so you can write a story that refers only to your own feelings.”
For their part, AMC denies any connection between the image and 9/11 and points out that it mirrors imagery from the opening credits the show has used since its first episode.
“The image of Don Draper tumbling through space has been used since the show began in 2007 to represent a man whose life is in turmoil. The image used in the campaign is intended to serve as a metaphor for what is happening in Don Draper’s fictional life and in no way references actual events.”
Gotcha — but maybe next time just skip New York City, mmmkay?