Here are some fictional groups of villains: The Empire, the Lannisters, the velociraptors from Jurassic World, the Beagle Boys, the Neologians, the First Order, and Hydra. Here’s a real group of villains: Nazis. That seems intuitive, but the distinction between the two was apparently lost on all parties involved in the campaign to promote Amazon’s The Man In The High Castle on New York’s MTA. How else do you explain the activation taking place on the 42nd st. subway Shuttle cars?
As Gothamist reported on Monday, the train decked out half of the seats in American flags that replace the stars with the Nazi Reichsadler eagle. That’s a compelling image on the show, which is about a United States that was conquered by the Germans and Japanese following WWII–but it’s a pretty tough one to be confronted with when you just happen to get onto a subway car. People who are interested in the context behind the image have a lot to enjoy in The Man In The High Castle, which is a good show on Amazon Prime, but those aren’t the only people who are going to ride the train, which is something that someone at Amazon, the MTA, or outdoor media company OUTFRONT, which arranged the campaign, probably ought to have considered in advance.
The MTA told Gothamist that the ads meet the service’s standards, which leaves them powerless to remove them. We haven’t yet heard back from Amazon or OUTFRONT Media about the decision to cover an MTA train in Nazi iconography.