‘Great Debaters’ Publicity Goof

Uh-oh, a publicity snafu on Denzel Washington’s new film The Great Debaters is not putting the film’s best foot forward in wooing a target audience.

In a marketing effort for the film, touted as an inspirational story of black students excelling academically despite the limitations found in inner-city schools, high school debate teams have been invited to attend advance screenings. An excellent idea, right?

However, when a group of 60 high school students in Washington, DC showed up for the screening to which they’d been invited and their attendance confirmed, they were turned away at the theater door. No seats left, they were told.

Read the Washington Post article by Marc Fisher for the whole story. The ending is a happy one.  Still, I’d wager this is not quite the kind of publicity The Weinstein Company was hoping for.

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