- There is controversy surrounding a Dodge Ram Super Bowl ad featuring a speech from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dodge Ram chose to use a sermon from Dr. King Jr.in their commercial.
Many on social media accused the automaker of exploiting Dr. King's message to sell trucks.
The ad for Dodge Ram trucks, seen by millions of football fans during the game's second quarter, uses audio from the last major speech King gave before his assassination in 1968.
Adding to the discordance between the words and images is the fact that, as a clever video editor illustrated - King specifically preached against consumerism, and specificallycar commercials, during the very same sermon quoted in the ad.
Dexter Scott King and his siblings Bernice King and Martin Luther King III are the sole shareholders and directors of the Estate of Martin Luther King Jr., Inc. Dodge and Highdive either didn't know or didn't care that MLK spoke out against the exact kind of lie they perpetrated.
The ad is not the first one to use a Dr King speech.
"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". Take a look at the ad and tell us what you think.
The vehicle company went on to say they got all necessary approval from the estate.
Clearly, when the two speeches are contrasted it shows King would not have endorsed the use of his comments to sell pickup trucks from a multi-billion dollar company.
King's estate approved the ad, multiple outlets reported. "That's the new definition of greatness", MLK can be heard saying in the commercial. That ostensible "alignment" didn't seem to convince The King Center, which distanced itself from the ad on Twitter. "One of the specific evils Dr. King condemned was the exploitation of the drum major instinct by advertisers, particularly auto advertisers". "If you're going to do it with the right intentions of what Dr. King's messages are about, that potentially is a good example". At the end, the phrase "Built to Serve" was shown on the screen, along with the Ram logo.