(TriceEdneyWire.com) – A Ram Truck Super Bowl LI commercial sparked outrage by using a recording of a Martin Luther King Jr. speech to push car sales.In the 30-second ad, a recording of Dr. King’s 1968 a speech serves as the soundtrack for snapshots of everyday Americans engaged in community service.“In the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Ram truck owners also believe in a life of serving others,” the ad’s description said.
The reaction was swift and harsh. An overwhelming consensus concluded that the ad was a tactless attempt to capitalize on Dr. King’s legacy.Among those offering backlash was the King Center.A tweet from the King Center read: “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.”
Although the center carries on King’s teachings, a separate entity controls King’s speeches and image — Intellectual Properties Management Inc. Eric D. Tidwell, managing director of the organization, which is run by King’s son Dexter, said in a statement early Monday: “We found that the overall message of the ad embodied Dr. King’s philosophy that true greatness is achieved by serving others. Thus we decided to be a part of Ram’s ‘Built To Serve’ Super Bowl program.”Tidwell’s response came after an endless evening of criticism. When writer Michael Arceneaux wrote on Twitter, “So that means the King children allowed Dr. King’s voice to be used to sell me a Dodge truck,” Bernice King replied with a single word: “No.”