Drunk driving has consequences. Even for "The Boss."
Jeep returned to this year's Super Bowl with yet another commercial all about America's greatness and endless potential. The one and only Bruce Springsteen starred in "The Middle," a two-minute film he helped to write and produce, including the original score. He was shown driving in Lebanon, Kansas, literally Middle America, in a 1980 Jeep CJ-5, a Jeep Wrangler predecessor. But now the automaker has pulled the commercial following the confirmed arrest of Springsteen for a DUI last fall.
"The Boss" was arrested on November 14 at Gateway National Recreation Area on the New Jersey Coast. He was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, reckless driving, and consuming alcohol in a closed area. Springsteen is said to have been cooperative with police during the arrest.
This is particularly embarrassing for both Springsteen and Jeep because the arrest took place almost two months before the ad was shot in late January. Jeep is aware of the arrest and provided this statement to media outlets: "It would be inappropriate for us to comment on the details of a matter we have only read about and we cannot substantiate. But it's also right that we pause our Big Game commercial until the actual facts can be established. Its message of community and unity is as relevant as ever. As is the message that drinking and driving can never be condoned."
Springsteen's representatives have so far declined to comment. The commercial's message is that America needs to find common ground. Before Springsteen's arrest became known, however, there was already some controversy among Michigan residents because a map shown in the ad did not include the Upper Peninsula. For a proudly Detroit-based automaker, that was a major oversight. Springsteen will have his first (virtual) court appearance later this month, and because his arrest took place in a national park, it's a federal offense.
The Ashbury Park Press reports the rock star's blood alcohol content registered at 0.02, which is one-quarter of New Jersey's legal limit, or about the equivalent of one drink.