Movie Poster, Zendaya, Challengers

Fake Movie Poster For Zendaya-Led ‘Challengers’ Goes Viral For N-Word Reference

The film's official social media account subtly denounced the now-infamous poster.

A fan-made poster for Zendaya’s new film “Challengers” has gone viral for its allusions to the n-word. The film follows the “Euphoria” actress caught in a love triangle with two other tennis players.

The poster first gained traction after the Films to Films’s X account posted it on the movie’s April 26 release date. The poster had all the typical accompaniments, including imagery of the stars playing tennis and their names. However, the title’s format led fellow X users to question it.

The split spelling of “Challe-ngers” led many to read it as a way of spelling the n-word. Some called out the account for posting it, stating it was a deliberate move to mock the film starring the bi-racial actress.

However, the account owner was quick to deny the allegations.

“For those implying that I’m a ‘racist’ because of this poster, just take into account that I’m a black woman,” reads the since-deleted tweet. “I don’t take responsibility for what you make out of something I post here. It’s you letting your imagination run wild.”

Despite the backlash, some Black X users poked fun at the cringey image instead.

“They called Zendaya a what,” jokingly questioned one user.

Another stated, “and this is why DEI hires are important.”

Evidently, Zendaya and the film’s producers caught wind of the growing controversy, using the film’s own social media to deny any association with the infamous poster.

“Happy Challengers Day from our only official posters,” read the caption, subtly referencing the drama. Fortunately for its lead actress, the social media chatter did not thwart its box office earnings. The film, made on a $55 million budget, earned $15 million during its opening weekend.

“Challengers,” the 27-year-old first lead film, also stars Josh O’Connor and Mike Faist and is directed by Luca Guadagnino.

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