7 Google Image Search Fails (That Caused PR Nightmares)
A picture is worth a thousand words, which makes them more important than ever in this age of tl;dr, when people use GIFs on Twitter because 140 characters is way too long for their opinions. Unfortunately, getting the perfect images to highlight your message can be tricky, and until some genius makes a spell checker for jpegs, people are going to screw up without realizing it. Here are some truly embarrassing examples.
A Chinese Theater Used A Homoerotic Fan Poster For Thor
When Thor: The Dark World hit screens in China, one Shanghai theater scoured the internet in search of a great promotional poster. They went for the one with the most chemistry:
Keen-eyed observers might note that Thor is rather romantically embracing his brother from another Frost Giant, Loki. Of course, the person he should be awkwardly holding is Jane Foster, the Ann Veal of the Marvel Universe.
Looking at both posters, it's not hard to see who looks more worthy of Thor's hammer. Thor and Jane had about as passionate a relationship as we do with our Canadian girlfriends. Not that Natalie Portman's to blame for the fact that Tom Hiddleston in a long wig makes for a better leading lady in Thor: The Dark World, mind.
The image came from photoshopper bbqfish2012, an avid longshipper of these two Nordic hunks. She posted the improved poster on Weibo (Chinese Twitter), and it was snatched up by the theater, which we now suspect was running a bootleg version of the movie, since they needed to use Google Image Search for a high-res picture of something they supposedly paid tens of thousands of yuan to screen.
The Shanghai theater, made aware of their sexy mistake, removed the posters and apologized. But hey, what's a little pseudo-incest amongst gods, anyway?
A Set Of Marilyn Monroe Stamps Accidentally Featured A Drag Performer
In 2014, the Central African Republic decided to honor Marilyn Monroe, star of the silver screen and self-conscious Facebook posts everywhere, by putting her face on a series of commemorative stamps. But when the stamps were released, African Republicans (that doesn't sound right) soon discovered that they weren't licking the behind of Monroe, but of Jimmy James, Monroe impersonator extraordinaire.
From 1983 to 1997, James was one of the greatest Marilyn Monroe impersonators in the world, touring casinos with his amazing looks and singing. In 1991, he was hired for an ad for eyeglass frames as the beauty herself. Decades later, on what must have been a very a very boring afternoon, James discovered that the tiny, volatile Central African Republic (or CAR, if you're in a hurry) had used his picture as Monroe's without realizing it. James threatened to sue the country for using his image without permission, and the stamp was quickly pulled out of rotation. The fault was traced back to a Lithuanian stamp design company which had stumbled into a niche market of providing war zones with stationery -- as one does.
Fox News Used A Lesbian Wedding Photo To Endorse Traditional Marriage
The institution of marriage is in dire straits, but there's one pillar holding it up: gay marriage! We're sorry, what we meant to say was wholesome traditional marriage between a breadwinner and a housewife. At least, that's what the picture below represents, according to Fox News. The image of a lesbian couple getting married on top of the Empire State Building (a place known for nontraditional love ever since King Kong) was used in an article by anti-feminist writer Suzanne Venker. Venker is author of such books as The War On Men (which is just war, come to think of it), and she's a woman on a one-man crusade to get young ladies interested in getting traditionally married again.
A strong image of two women starting to live happily ever after was clearly not the intended header image for an opinion piece titled "To be happy, we must admit women and men aren't 'equal.'" The whole premise of the article is that men and women should return to archaic gender roles in order to make relationships work. In particular, women should stop being such independent harlots. "They've been taught instead to honor sex, singlehood and female empowerment," writes Venker. What's next? Women walking on their hind legs and forming rudimentary language? If Jesus wanted women to be fully formed human beings, He wouldn't have invented kitchens.
Having realized their "mistake," Fox hastily removed the picture and apologized for showing a beautiful traditional-looking wedding that happened to not have the exact right amount of penises present.
News Shows Constantly Grab The Wrong Logos
A Spanish news program managed to piss off the one organization more dangerous than religious extremists: Disney. In a 2015 segment on the ISIS-occupied city of Raqqa in Syria, Spanish La Manana showed the historic transition of the city from Al-Qaeda to ISIS. Except the symbol the reporter is pointing to isn't that of Osama Bin Laden's crew, but of the Rebel Alliance from Star Wars. Only one of those religious militants have cool glowing swords. How could anyone confuse them?
The vaguely Arabic rebel logo is from a small Puerto Rican record label called Alqaeda'Inc, which does want to take over the world, but only through the power of Reggaeton.
How Alqaeda'Inc's page popped up first in search results is anyone's guess, but either Spanish Google has some 'splaining to do or the show's researchers thought it best to first look for Al Qaeda on Facebook. Which is stupid; everyone knows Al-Qaeda still uses MySpace.
But at least La Manana was insulting fictional freedom fighters. A British "musical pressure group" (making mum and dad proud) shooting an anti-Brexit music video managed to dishonor a local war hero by mistakenly associating him with the wrong RAF. Henry Allingham, a veteran of two world wars who died at the age of 113, was one of the founders of the Royal Air Force. However, the RAF logo the band used to honor him was actually that of the Red Army Faction, a West German terrorist group. And we really can't imagine Allingham was the "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em" type.
The band blamed their editor, a Romanian, for not understanding British history well enough to do a good job. Which undermines their anti-Brexit message ever so slightly.
Not every mistaken logo has to be so tragic, though. Just ask the Fox affiliate that accidentally grabbed Nathan For You's Dumb Starbucks logo for a story on the real Starbucks.
How does it feel to have the wrong name on your cup, Starbucks? HOW DOES IT FEEL?
The Oscars Featured A Totally Alive Person In Their Memorial Segment
The 2017 Academy Awards were a clusterfuck from beginning to end. Wrong envelopes were opened, statues got rescinded, and Hollywood legends were reduced to doddering old fools shuffling around a stage not knowing what to do. But no one was more upset by the Oscars than Jan Chapman, as the show's "In Memoriam" reel had informed her that she was in fact dead.
During the tribute to those in the movie industry who had died over the past year -- a caring gesture framed like a PowerPoint presentation made by the Grim Reaper -- Australian producer Jan Chapman was "devastated" when she saw her picture appear, like she had won the award for most oblivious corpse in a foreign production.
The deceased in question actually was, as the name implied, Janet Patterson, a four-time Oscar-nominated Australian costume designer who passed away in October 2016. Both Australian. Both names start with "Jan." Easy mistake to make, right? Not if you're in charge of the In Memoriam. Someone's entire job description was to remember.
Chapman and Patterson had been close friends before the latter's passing. Not only did Chapman see her friend's legacy get desecrated in front of Jack Nicholson, but she also had to spend the remainder of the night calling friends and family members to reassure them she was still alive. The only way that segment could have been more upsetting for Chapman was if, right after seeing her own face, the words "Seven Days" had appeared in blood on the screen.
To make things even worse, Chapman later revealed that she had contacted Patterson's former agency before the show to make sure that they had a good picture of her friend. They had been told "The Academy had it covered." Sure, that and an Uber will get Warren Beatty a one-way trip to a nursing home.
Trump's Presidential Twitter Header Was A Photo Of Obama's Inauguration
These days, President Trump's fuck-ups are a dime a dozen -- which was also the estimated value of his steaks. But a sore nation never forgets its first time. And just like we imagine Trump's other first (and all other) times, it was quick, unexpected, and utterly disappointing. Minutes after being sworn in, possession of the @POTUS Twitter account was transferred from President's Obama's team to Trump's. It's sadly fitting that his first presidential handover was yet another way to ruin social media for the rest of us. The account was thoroughly scoured of anything related to Obama or the concept of competence. Then Trump's communications team replaced Obama's picture with what looks like a picture of Trump's mopey eyebrows slowly melting into his forehead.
In striking opposition to the moldy piece of bread in a suit was the header image: a bright, hopeful picture of the presidential inauguration. Just not his, of course. Team Trump had used a stock image of President Obama's inauguration in 2009, which explains why looking at it doesn't fill us with existential dread.
An hour later, the image was removed and replaced first by an American flag ...
... and finally by a blurry image of Trump checking himself out in a window's reflection.
As with all of Team Trump's fuck-ups, it's hard to tell if it was caused by stupidity or sheer arrogance. Or maybe we're being too harsh on poor Donald. Perhaps it was a stand-in until pictures of Trump's own glorious inauguration came through. Just a matter of time, right?
News Outlets Continually Confuse SNL Characters With Real People
Of all its sketches, Saturday Night Live has always made the most out of its impersonations. The show was never funnier than when Ferrell did his Trebek, Fey did her Palin, or Chevy Chase did his bawdy Ulysses S. Grant back when the show began in 1875. Indeed, some of their impressions have become so popular that they almost rival the real deals -- or completely so, if you were to believe certain news sources.
Recently, El Nacional, a Dominican newspaper, made the understandable gaffe of mistaking President Donald Trump for a grotesque caricature of a human being played by an angry actor. In an article detailing the new U.S.-Israeli relationship, instead of showing Trump, the newspaper published a picture of actor Alec Baldwin next to a picture of Netanyahu. El Nacional apologized, claiming that no one, not one single person on their editorial team, had spotted the mistake.
But that was a foreign news outlet. It would be utterly humiliating if American journalists couldn't tell the difference between SNL and reality. But that's what happened when an NBC affiliate announced the death of Frank Sinatra Jr. by showing an old photo of SNL second-waver Joe Piscopo doing Sinatra back in the '80s. It's unsure what shocked viewers more -- finding out that Sinatra Jr. had died, or that Piscopo is still alive.
But without a doubt the most outrageous SNL switcheroo of all occurred in 2011, during the Republican presidential primary, when Fox News mistook a picture of Tina Fey for vice presidential no-hoper Sarah Palin. Let's reiterate that: Someone at Fox News forgot what Sarah Palin looked like. The show quickly apologized, admitting that "a graphic error was made" by showing a non-blonde woman on their network. Viewers were also assured that "the producer has been disciplined" -- probably by having them put on a one-way trip to Alaska with nothing but Palin's hunting lodge address and a large caribou pelt to keep them warm.
Cedric apologizes for the anxiety attacks this article has induced in Cracked's layout team. For more of his idiocy, do follow him on Twitter.
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