Rock legend Bruce Springsteen is having a bad week.
First news surfaced that authorities had arrested the 71-year-old last November. The incident occurred in Gateway National Recreation Area in New Jersey. They charged him with driving while intoxicated, reckless driving and consuming alcohol in a closed area, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Springsteen was reportedly “cooperative” throughout that process.
Now Jeep has removed a Super Bowl commercial featuring Springsteen from its YouTube page and its official Twitter page. The YouTube page now says, “Video unavailable. This video is private.”
Bruce Springsteen Stars in Jeep Commercial
The commercial itself was openly political, echoing President Joe Biden’s calls for unity in the wake of his electoral victory. In that sense, it was not unlike Springsteen himself. In 2020, the rocker composed a poem criticizing the Trump administration that went viral after celebrities began sharing it.
The Jeep commercial drew criticism from both sides of the aisle. Some noted that Springsteen, a partisan who has bashed Trump, is hardly the perfect messenger for the 74 million Americans who voted for the former president. Others called the ad “tone-deaf.”
“It’s no secret the middle has been a hard place to get to lately, between red and blue, between servant and citizen, between our freedom and our fear,” Springsteen says in the ad. “Now fear has never been the best of who we are. And as for freedom, it’s not the property of just the fortunate few, it belongs to us all. Whoever you are, wherever you’re from, it’s what connects us, and we need that connection. We need the middle.”
Springsteen’s ‘Prayer’ Yanked by Jeep
Moreover, in an Esquire interview in 2018, Springsteen slammed President Trump and his supporters as “folks who are invested in denying the idea of a united America.”
“[Trump] has no interest in uniting the country, really, and actually has an interest in doing the opposite and dividing us, which he does on an almost daily basis,” Springsteen said. “So that’s simply a crime against humanity, as far as I’m concerned.”
But as for the Jeep commercial, Springsteen reportedly “looked at this as a prayer,” according to Variety. He also composed the score to the background music that plays as he speaks.
“Our goal was to do something surprising, relevant, immediate and artful,” Springsteen’s longtime manager Jon Landau said in a statement.
Jeep’s decision to yank the commercial from YouTube may not have been artful. However, it was probably surprising to Springsteen, who still has the ad up on his Twitter account.