A photo of actress Emilia Clarke, who plays Daenerys Targaryen on HBO’s Game Of Thrones, was misused in an election ad for United Russia politician Yakov Silin, according to the Daily Mail. The ad, which is for Silin’s campaign for Mayor of the industrial city of Yekaterinburg, identifies the 26-year-old British actress as a 24-year-old local woman named Anya and was used without permission.
In the ad, which contains an anti-rape message, “Anya” states, “I now have confidence that the city is safe, that no-one will attack me or rape me,” along with other quotes about how she’s “not afraid to walk at night in Yekaterinburg.”
Russian web users immediately saw past the farce and reportedly bombarded Silin’s website with sarcastic messages about the ad, which shows Clarke with her natural brunette locks as opposed to the platinum blonde tresses she sports as the Mother of Dragons on Game Of Thrones.
Here’s a screenshot of the ad, posted by the Daily Mail, along with translation:
‘I suddenly noticed that for the last couple of years I’m not afraid to walk at night in Yekaterinburg.
‘I now have confidence that the city is safe, that no-one will attack me or rape me.
‘It’s so cool … There are only few people on the streets, the streets have lights, the city is fresh and incredibly beautiful. Especially after it has been raining.’
According to the Daily Mail, the unnamed creators of the ad eventually admitted they used Clarke’s likeness without her permission and on purpose to strengthen the message of their “Capital” program for Yekaterinburg, the fourth-largest city in Russia: “We selected a famous and beautiful actress on purpose, to make it clear that this is a fantasy.”
‘We don’t claim that we have her support, even though we would not be ashamed to show her Yekaterinburg after implementation of the “Capital” programme.’
According to Silin’s website, “The first phase of the program “Capital” provides funding for improvement of Yekaterinburg, repair of city streets and courtyards and construction of road junctions,” so in case it’s unclear, the quotes from “Anya” in the ad are meant to stress how the city is not safe (that it’s a “fantasy”), hence why the Vladimir Putin-backed mayoral candidate is pushing this “Capital” program platform. (I see a lot of commenters online, as well as bloggers, thinking that Silin’s ad means he believes the city is so safe that women can walk around at night without worry.)
Clarke has yet to make a public statement about the use of her likeness in the ad or if she’ll take Silin’s team up on their offer for her to visit, which they’d better hope she doesn’t come to with her dragons – they aren’t as forgiving as she is.
[Emilia Clarke at SDCC 2012 HBO's Game of Thrones panel. Photo by Dave3 for Geeks of Doom]
[Emilia Clarke at SDCC 2013 HBO's Game of Thrones panel. Photo by Dave3 for Geeks of Doom]