“Mad Men” creator Matthew Weiner has responded to criticisms regarding the image of a falling man featured in the show’s poster, which is deemed insensitive to 9/11 victims. In an interview with Salon.com, he claimed, “That image is the show. It’s been a part of the show since the beginning… I hate to say it, but a businessman falling out of a window is a symbol that far precedes that event.”
The Emmy-winning writer hit back at the press for stirring up controversy where there is none. “I think it’s an excuse for journalists to show that picture again. I do, I think they’re exploiting 9/11… What I see are journalists looking for a story, going and confronting these 9/11 victims,” he speculated. “It’s like going to Coretta Scott King and being like, ‘Do you hate movies where people play your husband?’ ”
Denying that he is insensitive to the victims in the tragedy, Weiner added, “To suggest that I’m not reverent to the tragedy is ridiculous… As someone who was very, very involved in the campaign, and trying to get people to watch the show, I was stunned that someone would try to bring it up again.”
The “Mad Men” ad featuring a man falling from the sky has been labeled “cruel” and “tasteless”, for reminding people of the tragedy where some victims chose to jump from the World Trade Center towers rather than be burnt to death. The billboard is displayed on the streets in Manhattan, including some places close to Ground Zero.
However, one victim’s family member blasted the press when asked for comment about the ad by The New York Times. “I am so worn out by you guys coming to us in order to create a kerfuffle where none exists,” said Rita Lasar, sister of victim Abraham J. Zelmanowitz. “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.”
“Mad Men” will return for its fifth season on Sunday, March 25 at 9/8c with a two-hour premiere. Lead actor Jon Hamm directs the first episode.