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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, December 7, 2007

Wal-Mart halts 'Superbad' gimmick in Hawaii

Advertiser Staff

In response to criticism by Honolulu officials, Wal-Mart yesterday agreed to stop selling DVDs of the movie "Superbad" here in packaging with fake Hawai'i driver's licenses.

The plastic cards were included as a promotional gimmick to recall a key scene from the raunchy 2007 sex comedy, in which a teenager uses a similar fake Hawai'i license while attempting to buy alcohol in another state.

Mayor Mufi Hannemann and others had complained that the fakes sold at Wal-Mart in a special edition DVD could tempt teens to imitate the scene or otherwise use the cards inappropriately. The city issues driver's licenses on O'ahu.

"We're very pleased that Wal-Mart has taken prompt, corrective measures to comply with the city's request to protect the integrity of our driver's license," Hannemann said. "It was foolish of the movie studio to include this prop in the DVD, particularly because it could be used by unscrupulous people to deceive others who are unfamiliar with our driver's license. For example, those who saw 'Superbad' know the underage teenager used his fake Hawai'i license to buy liquor."

"Superbad" DVD producer Sony Pictures Home Entertainment could not immediately be reached for comment. A Wal-Mart spokesman could not immediately say whether the retail giant would stop selling the special packages in other states.

"When this situation was brought to our attention we immediately looked into the matter," said Wal-Mart spokesman Lorenzo Lopez. "We have pulled all of the exclusive bonus movie packs that contained the ID item from our store shelves in Hawai'i."

Thousands of the DVDs and cards have already been sold in Wal-Mart's seven Hawai'i stores and in many others on the Mainland.

The photo on the cards is a hologram that alternates between pictures of two "Superbad" characters, and the single name on the cards changes from "Fogell" to "McLovin."

Though they are easy to recognize as fakes upon close inspection, officials worried the cards could be altered to appear more realistic.

Hannemann said the city has notified police, the Honolulu Liquor Commission, the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies about the cards.

Under state law, anyone convicted of using a fake Hawai'i driver's license here faces misdemeanor penalties of up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $1,000.

Anyone convicted of forging a license faces Class B felony charges, with penalties of up to 10 years in prison and fines of up to $25,000.

Many bars and restaurants here and in other states use the "International I.D. Checking Guide" to verify unfamiliar cards.