Drew Barrymore in Netflix's Santa Clarita Diet

Netflix Forced To Review ‘Santa Clarita Diet’ Advert After Receiving Complaints

Netflix has been forced to review its advertising strategy for Santa Clarita Diet in Germany after receiving complaints that a billboard advertising the new series was too gory. Since its release earlier this month, the series, which stars Drew Barrymore has gained a reputation for its gory dark humor, however, that hasn’t stopped complaints about an advertising campaign in Germany.

According to Digital Spy, Netflix has been forced to pull an advertising campaign for Santa Clarita Diet that shows a finger chopped up and presented in the style of a traditional German delicacy, the currywurst. The German advertising regulator Deutscher Werberat is believed to have received over 50 complaints about Netflix’s marketing strategy for Santa Clarita Diet in the country, with concerns that children will be disturbed by the nature of the advert. Deutscher Werberat subsequently advised Netflix to remove the advert.

Netflix took the campaign one step further during the Berlin Film Festival. According to Business Insider, Netflix set-up vendors around Potsdamer Platz, which is where the festival is being held, offering the opportunity to try their aforementioned currywurst finger. The vans, which offer “finger-food” appear to have gained a good deal of attention at the Berlin Film Festival, with queues of attendees lining up to try Netflix’s Santa Clarita Diet-themed take on the traditional German delicacy, even if the subsequent adverting campaign wasn’t all that well-received.

A Deutscher Werberat spokesperson commented on their decision to advise Netflix to pull their Santa Clarita Diet ad, saying they had received complaints alleging the ad was “offensive to children and young people, fear-evoking, and disgusting.” Meanwhile, Netflix is yet to comment on their decision to put a stop to the campaign.


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Netflix’s horror-comedy series Santa Clarita Diet premiered on the streaming platform with a 10-episode-run on February 3. The series, which stars Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant, alongside Liv Hewson and Skyler Gisondo and other recurring cast members, has received generally positive reviews, with critics giving praise to both the cast and the show’s premise. That being said, the show has still received a good deal of criticism from both critics and viewers for its number of graphic scenes, which often show Drew Barrymore’s character eating human flesh.

Drew Barrymore plays Sheila, with Timothy Olyphant as her husband Joel. Sheila and Joel are real estate agents in Santa Clarita, California. However, when Sheila finds herself transforming into a zombie with a taste for human flesh, the couple’s life takes a dark turn. Joel ultimately agrees to help his wife in feeding her craving for human flesh.

The cast of Netflix's 'Santa Clarita Diet.'
The cast of Netflix’s ‘Santa Clarita Diet.’ [Image by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images]

Of course, in the scenes when Barrymore’s character is seen eating human flesh, the actress isn’t actually chomping into a real person. In an interview with the New York Post, the man in charge of special effects on the show Christien Tinsley revealed that he had to be creative in his solutions to depicting cannibalism on screen, saying “There were so many things you couldn’t use. I would have said let’s get some raw tuna, sushi-grade, and bloody it up and make life easy and it didn’t work that way. We ended up defaulting to gummy bear formula.”

Ultimately, Tinsley used gummy bears to create the illusion of human flesh, saying “It’s gelatinous, it’s translucent, we can cast it into food-grade molds we created to look like meat and visceral tendon, and we could paint them with food dyes.”

The first season of Santa Clarita Diet, starring Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant is streaming now on Netflix.

[Featured Image by Netflix]

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