There's trouble in Paradise City.
Clark County commissioners and advocates for rape victims on Friday denounced a Guns N' Roses concert image promoting the '80s rockers that depicts a woman who critics say appears to have been sexually assaulted under the world famous "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign.
The image, which was a dominant photo on the band's website Friday but was later reduced, appears on Las Vegas taxis, buses and billboards for the band's Hard Rock residency "Appetite for Democracy" show, which runs through Nov. 24.
"This type of advertising is simply unacceptable," said Hannah Brook, executive director for The Rape Crisis Center. "Not only for just the victims and the message of violence it brings, but also for the community in general. This is not the type of message we want to portray to tourists that are coming to our city. We want them to know it's a safe place to come, and by putting a message out there with Las Vegas above it is concerning."
Calls to the band's publicist were not returned Friday.
The Hard Rock Hotel said in a statement released Friday, "Hard Rock Hotel & Casino regrets that the Guns N' Roses advertising for their current shows has offended any member of the community. The resort has decided to further modify the art and began the process of changing the materials (Friday)." The Hard Rock removed the woman from the artwork from a version posted online.
Hard Rock International released a statement that the company shared its concerns regarding the advertisement with the unaffiliated third-party company Brookfield Real Estate Financial Partners, LLC, which owns and controls the property.
"Hard Rock International does not condone the advertisement or any depictions of sexual violence," the statement read.
The Las Vegas poster is a watered-down version of what appeared on the band's first album 25 years ago, "Appetite for Destruction," which did not include the Las Vegas sign. In that version, the woman's breast is exposed, and her underwear hangs at her knees. Once music retailers refused to stock the item because of the controversial depiction, producers put the cover art inside and opted for a skull and cross for the album cover.
In the Las Vegas version, the woman's breast is covered, and there is no underwear.
Earlier this week, a county ceremony to promote tourism temporarily renamed Paradise Road to Paradise City Road, after the band's famous 1987 song. County officials created five street signs - at $300 each - for a total of $1,500. In return, the county was to be paid for the signs. The money has not been repaid.
Commissioner Mary Beth Scow said she was not aware of the image's use until she received complaints from upset constituents.
"This kind of advertising is not consistent with the values of this community," Scow said.
Las Vegas police responded to 59,000 domestic violence-related calls last year, she added. Of those, 23,000 were referred to the department's domestic violence detail.
"Clearly we have a problem," Scow said.
"Too often, I think we see women as second-class citizens. Too many people think it's OK to mistreat women, to abuse them, and this is an attitude we need to change."
County officials acknowledge that images of scantily clad women pepper the Strip, but they're constitutionally restricted about what they can change.
Commissioner Lawrence Weekly shared his childhood stories of domestic violence in the household and said he was disturbed by the promotion.
"I've seen it. It's not a pretty picture," Weekly said. "This is something that we as a community have to stand up and say we won't tolerate images or promote these types of activities here within our community."
Contact reporter Kristi Jourdan at email@example.com or 383-0440.