Guns N' Roses 'Robot Rape' Ads Pulled in Las Vegas

Promo campaign criticized for suggesting sexual assault

Axl Rose from the band Guns N' Roses.
Isaac Brekken/Getty Images
November 6, 2012 1:20 PM ET

The Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas has apologized for controversial ads for Guns N' Roses' Appetite for Democracy residency there, theLas Vegas Sun reports.

The hotel has promised to modify the poster, which depicts a robotic monster standing over a woman who is slumped against a wall with a breast exposed and underwear around her ankles. The image is based on the cover art Guns N' Roses had intended to use for its 1987 album Appetite for Destruction. The band switched the cover after several music retailers refused to stock the album. 

The Appetite for Democracy promos drew fierce criticism from  Clark County Commissioner Mary Beth Scow, as well as Safe Nest, a local women's shelter, who argued the image suggested sexual assault. The ad appears on the Guns N' Roses website selling tickets to their shows at the hotel's venue, the Joint, while a slightly cleaned-up version (without the exposed breast and underwear) appeared in mainstream advertising including newspaper promos and taxicab placards. 

"It’s very frustrating to see approval – almost a celebration – of rape and violence against women," said Lisa Lynn Chapman, a Safe Nest spokeswoman. "Our community has enough issues with domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse and so many other violent issues that to have this being paraded around town on taxicabs and in advertising is very offensive." 

The posters and show also coincided with the temporary renaming of the Vegas street Paradise Road (which runs alongside the Hard Rock) to Paradise City Road, an homage to one of Guns N' Roses biggest hits. Scow, who represented the county at the re-naming event, said she was unaware of the ad at the time, adding, "It’s clearly inappropriate. Maybe it’s the risk of doing business with a rock band, but I guess we’ll have some remorse over this decision. It’s a lesson learned."

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