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Fact check: Did Porsche remove a statue of Jesus from one of its ads?
Cause célèbre ended almost as quickly as it began
A controversy involving the use (or, to be precise, non-use) of a Christian symbol in a video ad has been quickly resolved.
Claim: Social media and U.S. right-wing media, particularly those with a Christian readership, were abuzz recently with articles and videos about a 2.5-minute Porsche ad that included street scenes from Lisbon, Portugal, where an iconic monument of Jesus appeared in the background with Jesus digitally removed. Many of the Twitter users and media commenters saw the removal as a sign of corporate efforts to make Christianity less visible.
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Typical headlines included:
Porsche Edits Out Famous Statue From Ad for New Sports Car (Christian Broadcasting Network)
Porsche under fire for editing Jesus statue out of advert (Premier Christian News)
Porsche edits giant Jesus statue out of sports car video (New York Post)
The statue in question is Santuário de Cristo Rei, 92-foot-tall statue in Almada, Portugal, that overlooks and is visible in much of the capital city. It was inspired by the Cristo Redentor statue of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and has become one of the most widely known religious landmarks of Portugal.
Truth verdict: ✅ True.
In early versions of the ad, the pedestal of the statue was distant although visible in the background, appearing for little more than an instant, but Jesus was nowhere to be seen. After complaints, Porsche apologized; shortly thereafter, the ad reappeared with the full statue in view. (The change has been duly reported by many of the media that reported on the original ad.)
“We are truly sorry and can fully understand the hurt this has caused,” Porsche said in a statement to the Christian Broadcast Network before the company restored the statue for a new version of the ad. “This film has been removed.”
Porsche has given no explanation for its editing of the image.