Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 23 May 2019

Sinc-ing feeling: Spelling error takes shine off Crazy Rich Asians red carpet

Misspelling dampens Singapore's night at the movies. The official line? 'Unfortunately, due to extreme heat that day, some of the lettering on our red carpet wall melted'

Actress Michelle Yeoh stands in front of the Singapore, or 'Sincapore', branding. AFP 
Actress Michelle Yeoh stands in front of the Singapore, or 'Sincapore', branding. AFP 

There’s nothing new about countries making the most of publicity surrounding major Hollywood movies that have shot there. New Zealand has built an entire industry on Lord of the Rings tourism, with a 50 per cent increase in visitors to the country since the first film’s release in 2001, according to Tourism New Zealand. That rise doubtless isn’t solely down to Peter Jackson’s fantasy, but significantly, 80 per cent of the tourists the board surveyed between 2001 and 2012 were aware the film had shot in New Zealand.

The UAE has had its own 15-minutes of fame on the silver screen too. Dubai’s Burj Khalifa was put front and centre in 2011’s Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, while scenes of the cast of Furious 7 by the Emirates Palace pool brought that Abu Dhabi institution into the global public eye like never before.

Visit Sincapore

Cast member Henry Golding poses at the premiere for 'Crazy Rich Asians' in Los Angeles, California, U.S., August 7, 2018. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
Cast member Henry Golding poses in front of the 'Sincapore' sign. Reuters

Spare a thought for Singapore Tourism Board, then, who were hoping to gain maximum publicity from the Hollywood premiere of the Singapore and Malaysia-shot comedy Crazy Rich Asians this weekend. The government agency’s logo was displayed prominently on the advertising hoardings the cast stood in front of for red carpet photo opportunities, with just a couple of minor problems.

Firstly, the name of the country appeared to have been misspelt as “Sincapore,” with a “c,” rather than a “g”. Secondly, the STB’s slogan “Passion Made Possible” was missing an “i,” resulting in the less catchy “Passion Made Possble.”

The tourism board say that all the logos and back drops were proofed and checked before the red carpet opened, however it appears that the heat of the LA night was the body’s undoing.

Warner Bros revealed in a statement: “Unfortunately, due to extreme heat that day, some of the lettering on our red carpet wall melted after the event commenced and, in some photography, Singapore appears to be misspelled. We sincerely apologise for any distress or embarrassment this may have caused.”

Yara Shahidi arrives at the premiere of "Crazy Rich Asians" at the TCL Chinese Theatre on Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
Yara Shahidi in front of the offending branding

This isn't the only time film promotion has gone awry. Chinese state-backed Wulong Karst Tourism even went so far as to sue Paramount when it felt that the area it represented wasn’t given sufficient publicity in a film – the company had arranged a product placement deal under which it would allow Transformers to shoot in the scenic Wulong Karst Park, in return for product placement. The company claimed in a 2014 statement that Paramount had failed to “show Wulong scenic park’s name or logo through pictures and actors’ lines, as well as to indicate Chinese Wulong in an obvious landmark sign.”


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Updated: August 13, 2018 03:15 PM