City of Toronto bans Baruchel ‘Goon’ poster

Baruchel calls it “another classic example of the cultural divide between Quebec and Ontario”


Banned in Toronto, the 'Goon' poster features star and co-writer Jay Baruchel

Jay Baruchel, the Montreal-based writer and star of the hockey movie Goon, seems to have goosed the City of Toronto into giving his movie some free publicity. Yesterday, the day of the film’s red carpet premiere in Toronto, the city took down 38 posters promoting the movie, according to Goon distributor Alliance Films.

The poster  features Baruchel, Goon’s co-writer and star (How To Train Your Dragon, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Tropic Thunder) gesturing in a way that the city found inappropriate. Alliance Films reports that the posters have been up for two weeks yet it  received neither prior notice nor any explanation as to why they were removed.

The cast of the film has been in Toronto for the last several days promoting the movie’s release.  “I question whether this has to do with Jay’s tongue or his ability to burn Maple Leafs’ jerseys, neither of which are offensive in any way,” said Goon director, Mike Dowse.

Commented Baruchel: “Another classic example of the cultural divide between Quebec and Ontario, I guess.”

Goon, a hockey comedy, delivers a wicked slapshot of profanity and violence, undercut with a sharp wit and a sweet streak of sentiment. The film has already offended some critics’ sensibilities with its unabashed romance of the enforcer, and its giddy embrace of violence—especially after last year’s deaths of three former NHL enforcers. Now, with the City of Toronto’s help, Goon‘s publicity campaign, like its hero (Seann Williams Scott), is mixing things up.

Does embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford have anything to do with the ban? Is he hoping to stir up a bit of culture war to distract the citizenry from his woes? Who knows. Alliance reported the city’s poster action in a press release at 12:36 a.m. today. And I’m sure as hell not phoning the Mayor’s house in the middle of the night.


City of Toronto bans Baruchel ‘Goon’ poster

  1. I suppose if Johnson thinks it`s news to report that Toronto has banned a poster from a third-rate movie, then he can, but why bother insinuating that the mayor of Toronto had anything to do with that?
    Does he have any evidence that Ford had anything to do with the ban?
    Is he angry that whatshername Walsh has been banned to the dark corners of the CBC building for being such an a$$ in Ford`s driveway?
    Or is he just part of the T. O. lefty crowd that is angry with Ford for taking away some of their entitlements?

    Johnson knows movies. Then write about movies.
    Venting his political frustrations about the mayor of Toronto make about as much sense as a political writer saying that the mayor of another large Canadian city has ordered extra posters because he enjoys looking at young men sticking their tongues out.

    • How do you know it’s a third-rate movie?  Have you seen it?  Perhaps you did see it at TIFF.  I don’t know.  But if not then wait until you actually see a film before offering your opinions on its quality or lack thereof.

      • You may choose to defend this memorable piece of cinema, but the designation of the movie wasn`t really what my comment was about.

        • But it was gratuitously thrown in.

          • LOL

  2. But…but Ellen – don’t you know that Rob is in charge of EVERYTHING that happens in Toronto? He is KING. He is dictator. He is everything and all things are in his control. (except perhaps healthy and lasting weight loss) It is perfectly reasonable to assume that the man with such power has made the decision to remove these posters for a hockey movie. He is, after all, a football guy.

    And BRIAN, you should have called Robbie at home. He WANTs us to. He keeps saying so.

  3. This does indeed seem to be an excellent case of manufacturing publicity.  City officials claim that no one ordered the posters taken down.  Apparently, the City simply informed the advertising/poster company that they had received some complaints, and someone at Astral Media pulled the posters immediately with no further discussions with the City.  It’s brilliant really.  Pull the posters at the first subtle hint that someone, somewhere might object, and then let your actors complain that you were “ordered” to remove the posters.  By the time the City gets around to explaining that they gave no such order, you’ll have stories all over the internet about how hard done by you are (oh, and by the way the movie opens this week).

    • Can ususally rely on you to inject some sense into an argument.

  4. I can see why. The dude on the poster looks like he is performing fellacio, I’m sure somebody complained.

    • That would be cunnilinguis and definitely not fellatio.  That mix-up might explain a few of the problems you have probably been having.

      • Nothing says “Quebec” like aggressive cunnilingus. 

  5. While I don’t know about the whole debate on whether they should have been taken down or not, I don’t find it to be exactly the nicest poster to see plastered all over one’s city.

  6. The cultural divide is more Quebecers are “goons” and Ontarioians are not.  The poster is idiotic.

  7. So, immature, rude gestures of performing oral sex is a symbol of a certain “sophistication” that only Quebecers are sufficiently enlightened enough to understand… i see… and although Mayor Rob Ford had nothing to do with it, it none the less is his fault… Maybe Mayor Ford should employ this kind of sophisticated gesture at the next city council meeting, bringing a certain classiness to the proceedings. That’ll show those Quebecers…    

  8. Interesting.  I saw one of these posters this morning near Queen and Broadview.  Must have been late coming down.

    •  I think you meant late in going down.

  9. Why is the poster’s suggestion of performing cunnilingus offensive?

    •  Never got it, particularly after “Technically, I’m an escort” poster for Hangover

  10. Must have been a slow news week to have this as an item… or perhaps there were more points to be made by the journalist along the way. A waste of paper…cyber or not.

  11. I am fluently cunnilingual, yet did not understand the gesture as lewd. Do the notes under the asterisks come in both languages, I mean, tongues?