On February 22nd, Canadian director Mike Dowse’s raunchy hockey comedy Goon opened in cinemas and multiplexes around Toronto. The same day, the City of Toronto requested for the removal of one of Goon’s outdoor posters. The funny, provocative, and definitely hairy artwork in question shows Jay Baruchel, co-writer and star of Goon, making a gesture that the city deems as inappropriate.
What seems to have began as a gentle nudge to remove this risqué advert turned into a full scale raid, as a spokesperson from Goon’s distributor Alliance Entertainment said that 38 promotional posters around Toronto were later covertly removed by the City as well.
While I’m not afraid to admit I find the promotional poster in question pretty funny, but I am also aware of it’s ‘inappropriateness’ and its obvious why the City wouldn’t be thrilled about Baruchel’s . Still, as the spokesperson from Alliance points out, these promotional posters had been up for more than two weeks with no comment from the City and their sudden, silent removal, which just so happens to coincide with the actual release date of the film, obviously intensifies the weight of this sneaky manoeuvre.
The sad part about this is that Goon has already proven to be more than just worth something, but instead rather worthwhile. I especially enjoyed Goon because it was raw as ever with its greasy locker room humour, supported by an incredibly well constructed unabashedly Canadian plot. Oh and Baruchel and co-writer Evan Goldberg left the ‘cheese’ out of its melodramatic moments; a no bullshit delight.
This is why the City’s abrupt decision to remove these posters adds injury to insult: it’s understandable if the City does not agree with every bus stop around the city having an 8×8 foot poster of something they find to be profane.
But to sabotage an exemplary Canadian film’s promotional campaign in the process is completely unnecessary, and this proves that the City clearly hasn’t realized that hasty decisions like this affect the reception of our entire national cinema.