If you aren’t a football fan, the Super Bowl is usually still worth watching because of the Halftime show and the new commercials. This year, both were arguably so disrespectful as to take the joy from both.
Dodge Trucks, so devalued the words of Martin Luther King as to try to turn a profit off them. They used audio from one of his last speeches, delivered February 4, 1968 also named, ‘The Drum Major Speech.” Two months later he was assassinated. Among the lines quoted, “Recognize that he who is greatest among you shall be your servant … That’s your new definition of greatness — it means that everybody can be great because everybody can serve.” Nothing in those lines suggest a desire to sell trucks but they tried it. Intellectual Properties Management (Dexter Scott King) approved the ad because it, “embodied King’s philosophies.” The King Center and Bernice King, indicated they had no role in the approval in what appears to be a long running family feud.
Prior to the Pepsi Halftime Show featuring Justin Timberlake, rumors spread that Timberlake would feature a Prince hologram, despite Prince’s widely known feelings about them. Of holograms Prince had said, “If I was meant to jam with Duke Ellington, we would have lived in the same age. That whole virtual reality thing… it really is demonic. And I am not a demon.” Prince fans were in an uproar and when contacted by former drummer and protege Sheila-E, Timberlake told her there would be no holograph. Technically there wasn’t, he used a video of Prince in which the late artist was reduced to the role of a backup singer. In his last Super Bowl performance, Timberlake weakly said nothing while Janet Jackson saw her career damaged by a wardrobe malfunction involving the both of them equally.
Dodge is already receiving heavy incoming for its disrespectful use of a Civil Rights icon’s words and life. If history is a guide,Timberlake will be praised for a Prince tribute by corporate America which will dismiss the complaints of Prince fans. Prince himself is no doubt casting some heavenly shade as only he can.