There’s already been a ton of hype surrounding the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, but not all of the attention has been positive. A new poster pairing a pic of the reptilian heroes jumping out of an exploding building with not-so-subtle text calling out the film’s September 11th release date in Australia has been met with ire. For now, it’s unclear whether the distasteful juxtaposition that calls back to the 9/11 tragedy New Yorkers remember so well was purposeful or just a design flub. Read on to see the full poster and judge for yourself.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, TMNT, September 11, 9/11, Times Square, Michael Bay, Paramount Pictures, Paramount Pictures Australia, controversial teenage mutant ninja turtles poster, teenage ninja turtles 9/11 movie poster

Twitter user Chris Applegate was the first to call out the unfortunate 9/11 reference by tweeting, “When’s the movie out? September 11. OK. Poster’s fine, can’t think of anything it reminds me of.” Since then, the tweet has caused a firestorm of backlash accusing the film studio of intentionally making the poster controversial. Others are calling the poster an unfortunate PR flub. The image, which originally appeared on the official Twitter account of Paramount Pictures Australia, has since been deleted.

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While the poster stirred up some strong emotions, we wonder if anyone would have cared if the film were to be released on September 12th or any other day of the year. Trailers for the new TMNT film have shown Bay’s typical penchant for bombast and in one sequence, we can clearly see the top of a building land in the middle of Times Square. Not to mention the Foot, more or less represented as a terrorist group, has clearly taken New York hostage in the movie.

via Chris Applegate

Images © Paramount Pictures Australia