‘Mayor of Kingstown’ Pivots Marketing  

The Mayor of Kingstown boss has called the Paramount+ series “the most dangerous show on television,” but its marketing campaign is suddenly timid.

Before series star Jeremy Renner was critically injured in a Jan. 1 snowplow accident, his character appeared in season two key art with a severely scuffed-up face. But now that the actor’s face is in alarmingly similar shape, as he showcased in a photo posted from his hospital bed, the marketing has been adjusted. While the same image and language appear, out of respect for Renner and his recovery, Paramount+ removed the bloody wounds.

“It’s good of the network,” co-creator Hugh Dillon tells  , adding of Renner, who stars in the exceedingly bleak crime drama as the unofficial mayor of a prison-filled town: “Everybody is sensitive to Jeremy.”

This is hardly the first marketing campaign to require adjusting. Pivots of all sorts have occurred, particularly in the face of tragedy or, more commonly, scandal. Kevin Spacey, for instance, was wiped from the All the Money in the World posters (and later, from the movie itself) following sexual misconduct allegations in 2017. Some five years before, following the tragic shooting of Trayvon Martin by a neighborhood watch captain, Fox removed posters for its space-alien comedy, the suddenly ill-named Neighborhood Watch.

Fortunately for Kingstown, the second season was unimpacted. Renner, who was still in the hospital with “blunt chest trauma and orthopedic injuries” when the series returned Jan. 15, had wrapped production when the accident happened. Looking ahead, Dillon says he and co-creator Taylor Sheridan are already busy cooking up ideas for a season three, should their star be ready to return.

Additional reporting by Brian Davids.

This story first appeared in the Jan. 18 issue of   magazine. Click here to subscribe.

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