Porsche Issues Apology For Removing Christo Rei Statue From 911 Promo

Porsche issued an apology following a public outcry after the company airbrushed the renowned Portuguese landmark, Cristo Rei (Christ the King) statue, from a video celebrating the 60th anniversary of its famous 911 model.

The commercial, displaying classic and recent versions of Porsche’s iconic car gliding through mountainous terrain, stirred controversy when observant viewers noticed that a prominent statue of Jesus Christ was absent.

Located near Lisbon’s 25 de Abril Bridge, the Cristo Rei statue, inspired by Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer, was only represented by the 75-foot concrete base in the advertisement. This was observed as a red Porsche driven by a woman passed by the suspension bridge.

The German automotive manufacturer Porsche has since recognized this as a “mistake” and uploaded a corrected video to YouTube featuring the entire statue. A company spokesperson stated: ‘In a previously uploaded version of the 911 S/T launch film, a landmark was removed. This was a mistake, and we apologize for any offense caused. The original film is online now.’

This incident comes amidst broader debates around organizations ‘airbrushing’ religious symbols, with some universities facing criticism for avoiding Christian terminology, deeming it ‘offensive.’

The marketing video, showcasing the new Porsche 911 S/T model priced at £231,600 with a top speed of 186mph, has ignited anger online. Only 1,963 models of this car have been produced, symbolizing the Porsche 911’s role in defining the brand since 1963.

Some online users called for a boycott against the ‘woke’ company, while others questioned Porsche’s decision to use that particular shot if they intended to remove the statue. 

The uproar included a tweet from a user now identified as X, which was seen by over two million people, asking Porsche why they erased the statue from the Lisbon-filmed video. Thousands of comments condemning Porsche followed.

The removed statue, dating back to the 1950s, symbolizes gratitude for Portugal’s survival during World War II, given its official neutrality. It depicts Christ blessing Lisbon with a 75-meter-high viewing platform offering spectacular city views.

Responses to the controversy varied widely. One individual declared they would no longer consider purchasing a Porsche, while another labeled the removal “horrible.” 

Others suggested that Porsche’s decision was influenced by a ‘woke’ mentality, with one person calling the move “ridiculous.” 

Some even questioned why Porsche chose that location if they intended to omit the statue’s significant part, suggesting that many alternative sites would have sufficed for the advert.