Porsche Backlash After Company Edits Out Cristo Rei, Statue of Jesus, from Libson Skyline

Posted by on August 11, 2023 3:05 am

When Budweiser chose to go woke, chaos ensued.

Now, it looks like Porsche, the iconic luxury car brand, might be headed down the same path.

It’s said, “Go woke, go broke,” and if history has taught us anything, it’s that wading into social or cultural waters without careful consideration can end in deep waters for brands.

And what’s at the epicenter of the controversy?

A 92-foot-tall statue of Jesus Christ—Cristo Rei—that has, for years, majestically overlooked the city of Lisbon, Portugal.

Let’s paint the picture.

Porsche, in all its glory, was out to celebrate 60 years of their flagship model, the Porsche 911, with a new ad showcasing its storied evolution.

But somewhere between the inception and the delivery, someone at Porsche thought it wise to give the Cristo Rei the digital disappearing act.

In the ad, while the Lisbon skyline remains intact, the statue is conspicuously absent—a move so noticeable that it set social media on fire.

Whether you’re religious or not, this isn’t just a statue.

It’s an emblem, an icon that resonates with millions globally.

And to deliberately pluck it out, leaving its towering base but removing the Christ figure?

It’s not just an oversight; it’s akin to editing out the Eiffel Tower from Paris or the Statue of Liberty from New York.

In doing so, Porsche not only disrespected a religious symbol but also stripped away a key part of Lisbon’s identity.

Porsche’s apology and swift action in removing the video is commendable.

But the real question is, why was such an edit deemed necessary in the first place?

In their quest to be globally sensitive or modern, did they inadvertently stoke the flames of discontent?

This isn’t about being hyper-reactive or unnecessarily sensitive.

It’s about understanding that certain symbols, religious or otherwise, are sacrosanct to cultures and civilizations.

And while brands might feel the urge to appeal to a broader or newer audience, it’s essential to tread these paths with caution and respect.

Because at the end of the day, it’s not just about selling cars—it’s about recognizing and valuing the diverse tapestry of cultures, histories, and beliefs that make up our global community. Let’s hope Porsche, and other brands, take this as a lesson learned.

New York Post has more details:

Luxury car brand Porsche is facing criticism after the company released an advertisement celebrating 60 years of the Porsche 911 that apparently edited out the Cristo Rei – a statue of Jesus Christ that overlooks the city of Lisbon, Portugal.

The German company, which is renowned for its luxurious sports cars, launched a campaign last week honoring six decades of “very fast years” for the Porsche 911 and promoting a special edition model of the vehicle, known as the 2024 Porsche 911 S/T. As part of the campaign, Porsche released a roughly two-and-a-half-minute ad depicting the evolution of the Porsche 911.

About 44 seconds into a version of the video posted on the company’s website, a Porsche 911 drives across the screen against the backdrop of the bridge and river that the Cristo Rei overlooks, but the 92-feet-tall statue of Jesus was absent from atop the concrete 269-feet-tall concrete pedestal that remains visible across the river. The missing statue was first spotted by a social media user on X whose post calling out the apparent edit went viral.

Porsche told FOX Business in a 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.”

Alright, let’s zoom out for a second here and use a little common sense.

Brands spend millions on advertising campaigns.

Every second, every frame, every pixel is carefully thought out.

Yet, Porsche wants us to believe that the removal of the Cristo Rei statue was an “accident?”

How does one “accidentally” erase an iconic landmark while leaving the surrounding scenery untouched?

The majestic Cristo Rei statue, inspired by Rio de Janeiro’s world-renowned Christ the Redeemer, has been a sentinel over Lisbon for years.

Its absence in the ad was so stark, it was like taking the Mona Lisa out of her frame and expecting no one to notice.

Now, eagle-eyed viewers did notice, and rightly so!

And Porsche’s response?

An “oops, our bad.”

They’re basically asking viewers to suspend belief and buy into the narrative that this globally recognized brand, with all its attention to detail and precision, just happened to ‘miss’ one of the most iconic statues in the world.

Do they think we were born yesterday?

This isn’t the first time organizations have been called out for such “mistakes.”

There’s a growing trend of sanitizing religion, with universities and other institutions shying away from Christian terms, deeming them ‘offensive.’

Porsche’s ‘oversight’ conveniently falls right into this bracket.

The Daily Mail has more details on the apology:

Porsche has apologised after it sparked fury by airbrushing out a famous Portuguese landmark in a video celebrating 60 years of its iconic 911 model.

The advert, which shows vintage and newer models of the company’s legendary car cruising through the mountains, drew attention after eagle-eyed viewers spotted a massive statue of Jesus Christ was removed.

The Cristo Rei (Christ the King) statue – which was inspired by Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer – overlooks the capital of Lisbon near the 25 de Abril Bridge.


In a statement to MailOnline, a spokeswoman said tonight: ‘In a previously-uploaded version of the 911 S/T launch film, a landmark was removed. This was a mistake, and we apologise for any offence caused. The original film is online now.’

It comes after other controversy around organisations ‘airbrushing’ religion, including universities coming under fire for dropping Christian term names and telling students not to say ‘Christian name’ or ‘surname’ because the terms are ‘offensive’.

If it was truly a mistake, it’s a colossal one.

But if it was a deliberate move to appease or avoid controversies, it backfired spectacularly. Brands need to understand that their audience is discerning.

In an era of information and transparency, half-hearted apologies and excuses simply don’t cut it.

It’s time brands give their consumers the respect and intelligence they deserve.