Dodge, which just sponsored its third annual Roadkill Nights drag racing event outside of Detroit on Woodward Avenue, faced strong condemnation on social media after one of its products – a Dodge Challenger – was used to attack protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend. Some on social media took umbrage with the fact that FCA did not immediately remove posts promoting the Roadkill Nights event after 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr. allegedly drove his Dodge Challenger into a crowd of protesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring at least nineteen others.
Dodge has since removed all mention of Roadkill Nights from its social media pages.
Those urging Dodge to delete its posts regarding Roadkill Nights contend that the name of the event is offensive given the tragic violence that occurred in Virginia the very same day. Fiat Chrysler responded to the outcry in a written statement, saying that it terminated plans for a longer, more extensive Roadkill Nights campaign on social media in the wake of the events in Charlottesville.
“It’s unfortunate that such a pure, safe, family friendly automotive event was linked to such a senseless, horrific act,” the statement read in part.
Prior to FCA’s removal of the social media posts, Brain+Trust co-managing partner Scott Monty called the company “completely tone deaf” for failing to acknowledge that it was a Dodge vehicle used in the attack. “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.”