- United States Library of Congress
- Martin Luther King’s family is speaking out against Ram’s Super Bowl ad, which had a voiceover from a speech the civil rights activist gave 50 years ago.
- Many have criticized Ram’s decision to use King’s speech on service and greatness in order to sell trucks since it aired during the Super Bowl.
- The move was criticized by King’s family and memorial on Twitter.
Martin Luther King’s family has spoken out against Ram’s ad that heavily quotes the civil rights activist.
In a tweet, The King Center – a memorial to MLK run by his family – said it did not approve the ad because it’s not the entity licensed to do so. King’s daughter Bernice retweeted it.
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 King Center (@TheKingCenter) February 5, 2018
Sapna Maheshwari at The New York Times reveals that Ram approached King’s estate about using King’s speech in the ad, which quotes a speech on greatness and service.
“Recognize that he who is greatest among you shall be your servant – that’s a new definition of greatness,” King says in a voiceover during the commercial, which depicts military members, football players, and other workers before cutting to shots of Ram’s truck.
“Are MLK’s words really being used right now to sell cars?” Nicholas Thompson, the editor of Wired, wrote in a tweet on Sunday night.
Many others chimed in, saying they felt it was inappropriate for Ram to use an iconic civil-rights speech to sell vehicles.
The commercial ends with Ram’s tagline, “Built to Serve.”
Ram didn’t immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.
Here’s the ad: