Budweiser asks Paramount to obscure beer image in "Flight"
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Brewing company Anheuser-Busch has asked movie studio Paramount Pictures to obscure all images of Budweiser beer in the film "Flight," which is about an airline pilot who is accused of drinking and includes scenes showing him consuming alcohol.
In a letter to production company Image Movers and Paramount, Robert McCarthy, the vice president of Budweiser, said Anheuser-Busch had "no knowledge of the use or portrayal of Budweiser" before or during the film's production and were not contacted by the studio.
"We would never condone the misuse of our products, and have a long history of promoting responsible drinking and preventing drunk driving. It is disappointing that Image Movers, the production company, and Paramount chose to use one of our brands in this manner," McCarthy said in the letter, which was emailed to Reuters on Monday.
"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."
"Flight," which was released in U.S. theaters last week, stars Denzel Washington as an airline captain who saves his plane from crashing but is accused of drinking before the flight.
The film, which made $25 million in its opening weekend, has numerous scenes showing Washington consuming alcohol beverages, including Budweiser, which is trademarked by Anheuser-Busch Companies Inc.
Representatives at Paramount Pictures did not immediately return Reuters' calls for comment. Paramount Pictures is a unit of Viacom Inc.
(Reporting By Eric Kelsey and Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Paul Simao)
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