Anheuser-Busch wants Paramount Pictures to remove or hide the Budweiser logo from its film Flight, in which Denzel Washington portrays a highly functioning alcoholic pilot.
The Budweiser maker says it’s spent a ton of money on responsible drinking promotions, and it doesn’t want Budweiser portrayed as part of a drunken man’s problems. William Grant & Sons, which distributes Stolichnaya vodka, also wants its brand out of the film, reports Huffington Post.
Washington’s character frequently drinks vodka through the film, and is shown once drinking Budweiser while behind the wheel. Most companies beg to have their products placed in movies, especially one as big as Flight, which earned $25 million in its debut weekend and is getting some Oscar buzz.’
Both alcohol companies say Paramount didn’t get their permission to use their brand in the movie. Experts, though, say studios aren’t obligated to get permission before featuring a company’s product in a film.
But Budweiser says showing it’s brand implies it condones irresponsible drinking, said Rob McCarthy, vice president of Budweiser.We would never condone the misuse of our products, and have a long history of promoting responsible drinking and preventing drunk driving. We have asked the studio to obscure the Budweiser trademark in current digital copies of the movie and on all subsequent adaptations of the film, including DVD, On Demand, streaming and additional prints not yet distributed to theaters.