Shuttle train covered in Nazi and Imperial Japanese symbols in ad for Amazon show 'The Man in the High Castle'

Amazon Promotes Show With Nazi Symbols In New York City Subway Cars

MANHATTAN (WPIX) -- Seats on a Times Square Shuttle train are wrapped in symbols from Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, an advertisement for Amazon's new series "The Man in The High Castle" that has provoked a social media uproar.

A variant of the World War aII-era Japanese flag covers one side of the car while the other side is slathered with the Nazi insignia set inside an American flag. The outside of the car also features the symbols.

"The Man In The High Castle," based on the 1962 novel, explores an alternate history in which the Axis powers win World War II. Amazon is streaming the TV series on its online service. The ad campaign was first reported by Gothamist.

The cover of the novel uses the original Imperial sun logo as well as the swastika, which the new show does not use in advertising.

Amazon has not commented on the ad.

Straphangers at Grand Central on Monday didn't seem to notice they had stepped into cars teeming with fascist symbols. One child even said: "This subway car is cool!" not realizing what the symbols represented.

Critics on Twitter gave Amazon a hard time over the ad campaign.

See photos of the subway car and reaction on social media:

Amazon decks NY subway in Nazi symbols
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Shuttle train covered in Nazi and Imperial Japanese symbols in ad for Amazon show 'The Man in the High Castle'
42nd St shuttle to #TimesSquare covered in Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan symbols for @amazon ad. Is this ok?
42nd St #shuttle covered w. Nazi and Japanese imperial signs inside & outside cars. Riders seem to not notice
One boy overheard Saying "these trains are cool!" While sitting on the seats, not knowing what they symbolize
Should @amazon be more sensitive about its advertisement & not include potentially offensive symbols?
Call me crazy, but I think draping your subway in Nazi paraphernalia and calling it advertising is a bad decision.
Hey @MTA you won't let @shethinx have the ads they want, but you will have @amazon have Nazi subway cars? #notcool #thisisacomplaint
I would feel uncomfortable sitting in a subway car with the American flag emblazoned all over it, let alone a Nazi symbol.
@byKatherineLam @amazon What committee did this get past in order to get made? Who looked at this and thought "Yeah that's fine"?
I get that they're promoting a tv show, but that subway car decked out in Nazi German and Imperial Japanese imagery really creeps me out.
Going to Amazon and being greeted by a Statue of Liberty doing a Nazi salute sure is a thing I don't get more used to over time.
Woah, the Statue of Liberty giving the Nazi salute had me really confused on Amazon for a second. Then the ad text scrolled.
Honestly, Amazon, I understand you want to promote The Man in the High Castle, but finding your home page full of Nazi imagery is offensive.
I know it's an ad, but going to Amazon and seeing Nazi propaganda is still really jarring.

Not everyone was piling on, of course. One Twitter user said although the symbols are "unpleasant," Amazon has a First Amendment right to advertise the show as it pleases.

Others commented on how great the show is.

Instead of blaming Amazon, one straphanger blamed the MTA for accepting the ad.

"It's not about suppressing the TV show's right to imagine a future that is quite different than the reality of today. It's about the MTA creating an environment that's not propagating hate speech or hate insignia," Ann Toback told PIX11.

"We do not believe this ad violates our content-neutral ad standards," MTA spokesman Adam Lisberg told PIX11 News.

MTA policy, adopted after a political-issue ad caused controversy, says ads should not be "created, designated or used as a public forum for expressive activities or general discourse or opinions."

They're limited to paid commercial advertising, public service announcements and government messages. There also is a provision that calls for maintaining a "safe and welcoming environment."

The agency that created the ads did not return an email asking for comment.

The MTA makes about $130 million a year in advertising revenue.

The advertisement on the Shuttle began running on Nov. 15 and will stay through Dec. 14. There are posters advertising the TV series in 260 subway stations, Lisberg told Gothamist.

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