Anheuser-Busch makes beer, but there’s (at least) one alcohol-related activity it absolutely does not condone: drinking while flying an airplane.
Unfortunately, the main character in one of this week’s top-grossing movies is doing just that: sipping a Bud as he safely crash-lands a commercial jet—and the brewer is not pleased with Paramount Pictures about it.
The film is “Flight,” and it stars Denzel Washington as a functioning alcoholic pilot, whose hero status is questioned after investigators discover he was legally drunk when the crash landing occurred. Throughout the movie, Washington is swilling the King of Beers as well as a number of vodka brands.
Anheuser-Busch wants Paramount, which distributed “Flight,” to remove its logo from subsequent versions of the movie, primarily digital and on-demand versions. The beer maker claims neither Paramount nor director Robert Zemeckis’s production company asked for permission to show its logo. Legal experts have said the filmmaker didn’t necessarily have to seek the company’s OK.
In a statement sent to the Associated Press
, Rob McCarthy, vice president of Budweiser, said: “We would never condone the misuse of our products, and have a long history of promoting responsible drinking and preventing drunk driving.”
According to the AP, the U.S. distributor of Stolichnaya—which is also featured in “Flight”—William Grant & Sons, did not license its product for use in the film, nor would it have.
The companies that make other vodkas that appear in the film, among them Absolut and Smirnoff, have refrained from speaking up about the film.
Maybe they feel all publicity is good publicity.