Fox, the network broadcasting the Super Bowl reportedly would not air a Pennsylvania company’s commercial because it featured a Spanish-speaking woman and young girl confronted by a border wall—something Fox deemed “too controversial.”
As The New York Times reported, 84 Lumber, a building supply company, originally planned to air a spot that showed the women encountering a wall after a long and arduous voyage. The ad that will air during the first half of the game now doesn’t include the wall, but directs viewers to the company’s website to see how the story ends.
The website now contains this teaser:
“I still can’t even understand why it was censored,” Maggie Hardy, the president and owner of 84 Lumber, told the Times. “In fact, I’m flabbergasted by that in today’s day and age. It’s not pornographic, it’s not immoral, it’s not racist.”
Although advertisers shell out millions for just 30 seconds of air time during the Super Bowl, the National Football League and the network broadcasting the game have final veto power over any ads, according to the paper.
The incident highlights the precarious balance for companies trying to be topical without being overtly political–a major challenge when Donald Trump’s actions as president make the country feel more divided than ever. Bloomberg recently reported that many brands are very worried about antagonizing Trump during the game.
But the 84 Lumber spot won’t be the only commercial about the immigrant experience.
When Budweiser released its Super Bowl ad online earlier this week, it was roundly praised for featuring the story of the company’s German co-founder arriving in the country–along with the discrimination and hardship he encountered–in the place of its usual Clydesdales and puppies. As of Thursday afternoon, the ad had racked up more than 6 million views on YouTube.