Martin Luther King Jr.'s Family Speaks Out Against Dodge Commercial That Used His 1968 Speech
One of 2018 high-priced Super Bowl LII commercials is coming under fire for its use of the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
One of 2018’s high-priced Super Bowl LII commercials is coming under fire for its use of the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
In an ad that aired on Sunday’s big game for Chrysler’s Dodge Ram Trucks, a speech from the civil rights activist was used to help promote the vehicle’s “built to serve” tagline.
The move was immediately condemned by Dr. King’s youngest daughter Bernice King and his family on Twitter through The King Center — the living memorial to M.L.K. founded by his widow Coretta Scott King to educate on nonviolence.
“Neither @TheKingCenter nor @BerniceKing is the entity that approves the use of #MLK’s words or imagery for use in merchandise, entertainment (movies, music, artwork, etc) or advertisement, including tonight’s @Dodge #SuperBowl commercial,” they wrote.
In the commercial, Dr. King’s words accompanied a montage of working families and servicemen, as well as glamor shots of Ram trucks driving.
“If you want to be important, wonderful,” Dr. King can be heard saying. “If you want to be recognized, wonderful. If you want to be great, wonderful. But recognize that he who is greatest among you shall be your citizens. That’s your new definition of greatness. By giving that definition of greatness, it means that everybody can be great. You don’t have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don’t have to know the theory of relativity to serve. You don’t have to know the theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. Soul generated by love.”
Dr. King’s family weren’t the only ones complaining.
Many people on Twitter slammed the commercial online and how it cheapened Dr. King’s legacy.
“I have a dream that men not be judged by the color of their skin, but by JD Power & Associates,” one user wrote, jokingly quoting Dr. King’s infamous “I Have a Dream’ speech.
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Super Bowl LII, which is being played at the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is airing live on NBC.