The upcoming biopic Diana owes its existence to many things—the lingering public fascination with the late Princess of Wales, the fact that Naomi Watts is also pretty and blonde, the endless need for Mother’s Day gifts—but mostly it’s been made possible by the fact that Princess Di is dead, and therefore unable to sue. So naturally, the film’s promotional agency placed a poster for Diana at Paris’ Place de l’Alma, near the tunnel where she died in a horrific car crash in 1997, by way of honoring that source of inspiration. Unfortunately, not everyone has taken the characteristically French, existential approach to accepting life, death, and the movies that will be made about the mostly imagined romantic affairs you had in between, and the posters for those movies that inevitably appear over your death site.
Indeed, many quickly protested the placement of Diana ads so close to where the real Diana was killed as “crass” and “despicable”—particularly as the “biopic” is primarily based on rumor and speculation, and also, damn dudes, that lady died right there. For its part, Diana’s French distributor, Le Pacte, insists the placement was just a “coincidence”—one of life’s ineffable mysteries, mais oui, like the placement of the stars and the sun, or the installation of a billboard, right next to a giant monument to the same dead woman that billboard is advertising. Anyway, Le Pacte has already removed the offending posters, presumably relocating them to someplace more appropriate and sensitive, like right outside Prince William’s house.