'Goon' posters penalized in Montreal

Actor Jay Baruchel in Montreal, Monday, February 20, 2012. CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

MONTREAL - First Toronto sent "Goon" to the penalty box. Now it's Montreal's turn.

"Goon," a comedic movie tribute to hockey's enforcers, is being bodychecked by Montreal's transit commission for one of its posters.

A poster featuring star Jay Baruchel is being pulled from the subway system after the commission deemed it to be offensive.

The poster in question shows Baruchel making a sexually suggestive gesture with his fingers and tongue.

The move comes within days of a similar decision by the Toronto Transit Commission, which pulled the posters the same day the film premiered in that city.

That agency cited the same reason used later in the week by Montreal, Baruchel's hometown.

Montreal transit commission spokeswoman Isabelle Tremblay said Friday a handful of complaints were received about the poster and that material considered sexist is not tolerated.

Tremblay said the posters originally passed scrutiny under regulations governing advertising in the transit system when they went up in mid-February.

But they didn't go down well with some commuters.

"We got some complaints, not really a lot, I think it was four complaints in the first or second day," Tremblay said.

The posters were reviewed and it was decided there was a vulgar aspect to them, Tremblay said.

"We decided to take them down."

Tremblay said the decision was made last week and most of the posters have been removed from the transit system. She didn't know how many posters were involved.

Patrick Roy, president of Alliance Vivafilm, which distributes "Goon," says the Montreal transit commission never raised the issue with the distributor.

"I'm against all forms of censorship and I deplore the fact that the Montreal transit commission has taken this decision without consulting us or advising us," he said in a statement.

"There are about 700,000 daily users in the subway, passing through 68 stations, and of that number only a few people complained," he added.

He said it was "unusual" that the commission should base its decision on such a marginal basis.

Baruchel also wrote and produced "Goon."

He shrugged off the Toronto removal at the premiere of the film in that city earlier this week, although co-star Liev Schreiber told reporters that, as a father, he could understand how some people could be offended.