In his new movie “Flight,” Denzel Washington plays a pilot who has a thirst for Budweiser beer, a product placement that would normally have beer-maker Anheuser-Busch InBev jumping up and down in the aisles. Except Washington plays an alcoholic pilot.
Forget for a moment that no functional alcoholic would waste their time with beer, let alone Budweiser. And where’s Washington’s beer belly?
So much for attention to detail. But it’s refreshing to hear a company demanding to have its product taken out of a movie, when the trend in Hollywood today is to lard up films with product placements of almost every kind.
The company has asked Paramount Studios to blur Budweiser’s all too familiar logo in any DVD, digital or On Demand release. “We would never condone the misuse of our products, and have a long history of promoting responsible drinking and preventing drunk driving,” said company spokesman Rob McCarthy.
Ironically, Budweiser’s is currently marketing a new product, Bud Light Platinum, that pushes the upper range of alcohol content for brews at 6 percent by volume. Beer typically ranges from 3 percent to 10 percent among heavier European stouts.
While it’s never wise to encourage the operation of machinery while drinking, let alone an airliner, the whole point of the movie, which is about personal responsibility and one man’s battle with drug and alcohol addiction. Washington’s character, Whip Whitaker also has a nasty cocaine habit, in other words a typical Bud drinker.
But if he were a true functional alcoholic he likely would be drinking cheap scotch.
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