Use of Martin Luther King Jr. speech in advertisement causes controversy at Super Bowl

People are not happy about it

Ilana Kaplan
New York
Monday 05 February 2018 04:10 GMT
Use of Martin Luther King Jr. speech in Ram truck advert causes controversy at Super Bowl

Dodge Ram released a divisive advertisement during the Super Bowl using an excerpt of a Martin Luther King, Jr. speech.

The commercial - for Chrysler's Dodge Ram Trucks - was immediately called out on Twitter by Dr. King's daughter Bernice King via The King Center - a tribute to Dr. King that teaches about nonviolence.

They wrote: “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."

The commercial puts Dr. King's words alongside working families and Ram trucks.

“If you want to be important, wonderful,” Dr. King says in the TV spot. “If you want to be recognised, wonderful. If you want to be great, wonderful. But recognise 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.”

King's family weren't the only ones to take issue with the use of Dr. King's speech in the advertisement.

One user pointed out how it took a dig at Dr. King's legacy saying, "I have a dream that men not be judged by the color of their skin, but by JD Power & Associates. — Martin Luther King, Jr."

"Black people cant kneel and play football but MLK should be used to sell trucks during the super bowl. Unbelievable," Akilah Hughes wrote on Twitter.

April said that the use of Dr. King's speech in the advertisement was "unsettling."

Josh Billinson questioned who thought "MLK loves Dodge trucks" was a good idea.

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