Jeep Pulls Super Bowl Ad After Springsteen DWI Charge

Ad is on pause until facts are established
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 11, 2021 12:12 AM CST
Jeep Pulls Commercial After Springsteen DWI Charge
In this Nov. 5, 2018, file photo, Bruce Springsteen performs at the 12th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York.   (Photo by Brad Barket/Invision/AP, File)

(Newser) – The Jeep ad featuring Bruce Springsteen that aired during the Super Bowl has now been pulled from the brand's social media following news of the rocker's November arrest on a DWI charge. While it "would be inappropriate for us to comment on the details of a matter we have only read about and we cannot substantiate," the company says in a statement cited by the Guardian, "it’s also right that we pause our Big Game commercial until the actual facts can be established." Springsteen was cited for driving while under the influence, reckless driving, and consuming alcohol in a closed area during the New Jersey incident, the AP reports. But a source tells the Asbury Park Press Springsteen's blood alcohol content was just 0.02% at the time, a quarter of the state's legal limit and the level a man of Springsteen's weight would typically be at after having one drink in an hour.

The ad, named "The Middle," had been drawing ire for other reasons before news of the DWI, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. Critics were upset at its calls for unity in the wake of the mob attack on the US Capitol and other issues dividing the nation. "All that stuff about ‘common ground’ and freedom for everyone in ‘The Middle’ is swell,” reads one comment, "but I don’t see how one can gaze upon a cross superimposed against a backdrop of an American flag in the shape of the lower 48 states and NOT see a disturbing omen of Christian nationalism." No word on the backlash from Springsteen, but his guitarist weighed in: "You are suggesting the ad is implying no reckoning or accountability for Jan 6 and tolerating the very unAmerican white supremacy our country was built by and that is still so prevalent and it is doing no such thing," Steve Van Zandt tweeted. "It is saying America’s identity shouldn’t include hate & fear." Springsteen will have a court appearance before a judge in the case, but it's not clear when. (Read more Bruce Springsteen stories.)

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