Jesus statue returns to Porshe ad after social media backlash

Left, a section in a recent Porsche ad in which a famous Jesus statue in Lisbon was removed. The photo on the right shows the landmark statue as it appears in real life

Luxury car brand Porsche came in for some sharp criticism on social media after somebody spotted and shared that a landmark statue of Jesus overlooking Lisbon was missing from a car advert it filmed in the city.

About 44 seconds into the advert posted on the company website last week celebrating the 60th anniversary of the classic Porsche 911 model, a red 911 speeds along the banks of the River Tagus and the statue’s plinth can be seen in the background but the 28m tall statue is missing.

Users of X — formerly known as Twitter — were quick to ask the German carmaker why the statue was gone from their advert, promting a speedy apology from the company which said the removal of the statue was “a mistake”. The iconic Cristo Rei (Christ the King) statue is back on the plinth in an updated version of the ad on YouTube.

While the missing statue scene takes up barely more than a second of the original two-and-a-half-minute ad and the statue image only occupies a tiny section of the screen, it was enough to irk social media users tired of companies that pander to anti-Christian segments of society.

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Comments from X users included:

– “Hey, @Porsche, why did you erase the statue of Jesus Christ from your video filmed in Lisbon?”
– “Looks like Porsche doesn’t want Christians buying their cars.”
– “Well, guess if Porsche can edit Jesus out of their video ‘celebrating’ 60-years — we can all edit them out of our memories. Apparently, Porsche doesn’t care about Christians.”
– “The lack of self-awareness, a company born in Europe with its Judeo-Christian roots and values, pretending to hold dear its origins while erasing one of its most important symbols. Even I as an atheist find this to be disconcerting.”

Porsche subsequently released the following statement: “In an early version of a film created in Europe, the Cristo Rei Statue does not appear. We are truly sorry and can fully understand the hurt this has caused. This film has been removed.”

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