A commercial expected to air during Superbowl LI this Sunday would probably not have been controversial at last year's championship game. Yet, with President Trump's recent executive order on immigration, it's hard to separate the ad from controversy.
Entitled "Born the Hard Way," Budweiser's new commercial follows a young Adolphus Busch as he travels from Germany to the U.S. in the 1850s. Eventually, he crosses paths with fellow immigrant Eberhard Anheuser, and the Anheuser-Busch beer brand was born. It is a fictional tale.
The reactions from Super Bowl fans were mixed - some accepting of the apparent pro-refugee message, others horrified that Budweiser would criticize President Trump's immigration order so publicly.
If I decide to drink an foreign beer, it won't be Budweiser, owned by a Belgian conglomerate who thinks USA needs more refugee immigrants.— Ron_n_GA (@R_n_GA) February 1, 2017
Yet, Budweiser Vice President Ricardo Marques explained they had been working on the commercial for a year, well before the law was signed or before Trump was even elected. The executive order, Marques claims, was not even on his radar.
"The powerful thing about the story is the fact that it's a human story and the human dream resonating," he said. "Of course it would be foolish to think the current context is not putting additional eyeballs (on the ad), but that was absolutely the not the intent and not what makes the spot as special as it is."
Can we just, um, set aside politics for one night and enjoy the game?