Dodge Challenger. Charlottesville. Need we say more?
Last weekend’s horrific and sad events in Charlottesville, Virginia, should be disturbing to everyone. In the aftermath of the “Unite the Right” march where a woman was rundown and killed (19 others were injured) by a far right white supremacist protestor in his Dodge Challenger, the automaker realized it had a problem with its Twitter account. Bloomberg reports that up until this past Tuesday afternoon, Dodge’s Twitter account still had four posts using the hashtag #RoadkillNights.
Of course, this didn’t refer to what happened in Charlottesville, but to a series of races held Saturday near Detroit that Dodge sponsored, the very same day of the Charlottesville violence and resulting tragedy. However, Dodge didn’t remove the #RoadkillNights posts right away, and its more than 740,000 followers noticed. It was finally done nearly four days later, but it’s unusual it took that long to do so. For example, the white supremacists were carrying around Tiki torches and even used an altered version of the Detroit Red Wings hockey team logo featuring a swastika.
Both Tiki Brand Products and the Detroit Red Wings issued statements, almost immediately, on Saturday denouncing how their respective products and brands were being altered. They also firmly distanced themselves from the white supremacists. “It seems to me completely tone deaf that they wouldn’t acknowledge that it was one of their vehicles that was very clearly identified in the weekend’s events,” stated Scott Monty, a co-managing partner at Brain+Trust Partners, a social media advising company. “Having a hashtag that is so similar or at least related to what happened, you would think they would just eradicate any existence of that.”
And for those who don’t already know, Dodge also sponsors Roadkill, one of our favorite YouTube series. This is a complete and unfortunate name/branding coincidence. Roadkill itself posted a statement on Monday denouncing “the violence committed and racism displayed in Charlottesville.” But Dodge, or rather Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, should have taken immediate action, alongside Tiki Products and the Red Wings, and denounced what happened.