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Studio bosses apologise for 'offensive' X-Men: Apocalypse billboard

Marketing bosses behind the new X-Men: Apocalypse movie have apologised for an "insensitive" billboard which depicts Oscar Isaac's titular villain strangling Jennifer Lawrence's mutant Mystique.

The chokehold image was posted around a number of major cities to promote the 20th Century Fox blockbuster, but the violent snapshot drew heavy criticism for appearing to promote violence against women.

Actress Rose McGowan was among those who took issue with the advertisement and made her feelings known online, and now studio officials at Fox have accepted they were in the wrong for approving such a picture.

"In our enthusiasm to show the villainy of the character Apocalypse we didn't immediately recognize the upsetting connotation of this image in print form," reads a statement issued to TheWrap.com.

"Once we realized how insensitive it was, we quickly took steps to remove those materials. We apologize for our actions and would never condone violence against women."

Rose has yet to respond to the studio chiefs' comments.

She initially voiced her disapproval in a message on The Hollywood Reporter's Facebook page.

"There is a major problem when the men and women at 20th Century Fox think casual violence against women is the way to market a film," she wrote. "There is no context in the ad, just a woman getting strangled. The fact that no one flagged this is offensive and frankly, stupid. The geniuses behind this, and I use that term lightly, need to to take a long hard look at the mirror and see how they are contributing to society."

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