By Tim Kenneally
LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) - "Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner isn't falling for the criticism surrounding the latest ad campaign for his series.
Weiner has lashed out about the scandal about the ad, which depicts the show's "falling man" icon falling from the sky and which some say is insensitive to 9/11 victims, some of whom jumped from the World Trade Center towers rather than burn to death.
While some have criticized the ads as "cruel" and "tasteless," particularly since billboards of the image were put up in Manhattan, including close to Ground Zero, Weiner isn't having any of it.
In fact, he says, it's the media's fault for stirring up controversy where there is none.
"I think it's an excuse for journalists to show that picture again. I do, I think they're exploiting 9/11," Weiner said during a recent interview with Salon.
"To suggest that I'm not reverent to the tragedy is ridiculous. I hate to say it, but a businessman falling out of a window is a symbol that far precedes that event. What I see are journalists looking for a story, going and confronting these 9/11 victims. It's like going to Coretta Scott King and being like, 'Do you hate movies where people play your husband?'"
The "falling man" imagery has been part of the series since the very first episode aired in 2007. Weiner said he was "stunned" when a cloud of controversy gathered around the image recently.
"They can trot out that picture again, which was always a controversial picture to someone who lived through it," Weiner said. "As someone who was very, very involved in the campaign, and trying to get people to watch the show, I was stunned that someone would try to bring it up again."
The fifth season of AMC's "Mad Men" begins on March 25.
(Editing by Chris Michaud)