Disney Film Publicist’s Joke Photo With Bloggers Sparks Backlash

Personal Facebook post was of 'some of my best friends,' Marshall Weinbaum says

Headshot of David Griner

For marketers, blogger outreach can often feel like working in a field of landmines, where one misstep can detonate across the Web. The newest publicist to find himself at the center of the blast radius is Disney Motion Pictures’ Marshall Weinbaum, who jokingly posted a photo to his personal Facebook page showing female bloggers clutching his legs while he held up a sign that said, “Hi mom.” Although she didn’t know Weinbaum or the context of the photo, blogger Liz Henry promptly declared him both a “raging douche bag” and a “raging sexist.” Others soon joined the fray, saying that any blogger who defended him was simply in Disney’s pocket. But many bloggers who have worked with him, including those who were with him on the trip where the photo was taken, have come out in vocal defense of Weinbaum. One blogger tells Adweek he’s a “very sweet man” and is close personal friends with many of the bloggers he works with, a fact that likely led to the ultimately unwise decision to share the photo publicly. “I apologize for how this was construed,” Weinbaum told me in an email. “These four amazing women are some of my best friends who I have known for years and I have tremendous respect for them and the work that mom (and dad) bloggers do. We were just having fun inside a wax museum after an event yesterday taking funny photos and I wanted to spoof Chevy Chase from the ‘National Lampoon’s Vacation’ poster.” Late Friday, Weinbaum chose to remove the photo from his personal Facebook page. “This was so unintentional and if the people who wrote the negative article about me knew me at all, they would think the photo was goofy and silly. But out of respect for their opinions, I decided myself to take the photo down.”

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@griner david.griner@adweek.com David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."