The University’s Thai Society has come under scrutiny this week after a member of the committee released a parody of the film poster for Oscar-winning slavery movie “12 Years a Slave”.
The image altered the title of the film to read “12 Months A Committee”, and listed names of committee members in a cast list-style roll. It also featured a picture of a person – believed to be a member of the committee – in the place of the film’s main character Solomon Northup, an African-American man from New York who is kidnapped and sold into slavery.
It also contained the tagline “The Extraordinary Story of Thai Society Committee 2013-14”. The original tagline said “The Extraordinary True Story of Solomon Northup”.
One committee member set the image as their Facebook profile picture late on Tuesday, but it was removed a few hours later. It is unclear whether an actual film has been produced by the committee or whether it is merely the poster.
Annie Teriba, a first-year History and Politics student at Wadham, said she felt the subject of the film “deserves to be accorded respect”.
“It’s rather frustrating to me that anybody would feel that the appropriation and trivialisation of the experiences of black slaves is in any sense okay,” she said.
“Worse still, there doesn’t seem to be the critique of his decision to do so that my previous experiences at Oxford have led me to expect. I know it is a popular film but this does not diminish the fact that it deals with a sensitive subject which deserves to be accorded respect,” she added.
The film, released last year and directed by Steve McQueen, stars Brad Pitt. It won three Academy Awards, including Best Motion Picture of the Year, as well as a Golden Globe Award and two BAFTAs.