The Irony in the Subway Ads

In what can only be called a stunning act of irony, Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York has ordered that the NYC subway ad campaign for Amazon’s original TV show “The Man in the High Castle” be banned.

In case you don’t know, the series is based on Philip K. Dick’s novel in which history is radically altered because the Axis Powers win World War Two and the United States is now under the control of both Nazi Germany (in the Eastern US) and Japan (in the West).

Here’s a preview:

Amazon decided to promote the upcoming season by advertising in the New York subway system — including covering the benches with symbols from the show.

The Irony in the Subway Ads 02

The MTA obviously approved the ad placement since no ads can be placed on the subways without the MTA’s approval.

But both Mayor Bill De Blasio and Governor Cuomo were outraged. Mayor De Blasio blasted the advertising as “offensive” and “irresponsible.”

Personally, I think it’s downright brilliant. What better way to draw people into the world created in the series than to immerse them in the world created by the series? A world where fascists rule the nation — where freedom of speech and freedom of expression are prohibited. Where propaganda is carefully displayed.

Well, yesterday, in a move that all but proves he lacks a sense of irony, Governor Cuomo ordered the ads be removed.

So Amazon produces a series that gives you a “what if” of America living under totalitarian rule, and in a move of totalitarian proportions, Andy orders the ads for the series be removed.

It really is pretty amazing.

No word yet if Herr Cuomo has any plans on burning copies of Philip K. Dick’s book. But we’ll keep you posted.

The Irony in the Subway Ads

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4 thoughts on “The Irony in the Subway Ads

  • November 26, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    Sorry, Dianny, I disagree with you this time. Some commuters have no choice but to take that shuttle to get to and from work, and to be closed up in a capsule filled with evocative symbols could be pretty horrible for a lot of people given what they, their parents, or their grandparents went through. Remember how many postwar Jewish refugees settled in NYC. Now, if this stuff was on the outside of the train, or on walls, I’d be OK with it. But the shuttle can be claustrophobic enough without these “decorations.” Yish.

    • November 26, 2015 at 3:53 pm

      No. I get why it may have been upsetting. But the decision should have been between commuters, the MTA & Amazon not the Governor. That is a clear example of over-reach on the Governor’s part.

  • November 28, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    Well, commuters disagreed about whether it should stay and Amazon wouldn’t pull the advertising. Since MTA is legally owned and controlled by the State of NY, Cuomo was probably the only one who could make the decision.

  • November 28, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    Just a little more info on who did what:

    Ads Featuring Nazi Imagery Pulled From New York City Subway
    NOV. 25, 2015, 12:33 P.M. E.S.T.
    NEW YORK — An ad campaign that featured Nazi imagery has been pulled from the New York City subway system.

    Seats on the 42nd Street shuttle between Times Square and Grand Central Terminal were wrapped in Nazi regalia to promote an Amazon video series called “The Man in the High Castle.” The show depicts the aftermath of World War II as if the Axis powers triumphed.

    The region’s transit network, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, approved the ads, which first appeared earlier this month.

    The agency also initially defended the ads, saying they met its guidelines.

    But many public officials condemned them. Mayor Bill de Blasio called them “irresponsible and offensive.”

    Officials confirmed Wednesday that Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered them removed.

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