Club promoters in Michigan are learning that not all publicity is good publicity, as word of their “Freedom to Twerk” event promotion, featuring a doctored image of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., reached his family.
Dr. Bernice King had the unfortunate experience of seeing her father, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s face superimposed on the image of a young man sporting a large gold chain and throwing up what appears to be the Westside sign under a party headlined “Freedom to Twerk.” The fliers, which had been distributed throughout Michigan, were promoting a Jan. 18 Flint, Mich., teen club’s twerk party, according to My Fox Atlanta.
King, who spoke to Fox 5′s Deidra Dukes, said that she was upset and saddened by the fact that her father’s image was used in such a way.
“I feel like we have failed to reach these [groups],” said King. “This imagery thing is just appalling, and it’s almost embarrassing.
“For me, as his daughter, it’s like wow. I lost a father who sacrificed everything for them to live a much more dignified and respectful life, and for it to come to this makes me sad.”
Further, King said she was caught off guard by the fact that these promoters would use her father’s image for an event he would never have condoned.
“My father would have worked to elevate them, to connect with them, and bring them into the movement,” she added.
When My Fox tracked down one of the event’s promoters, the unidentified man told the news outlet they meant “no disrespect” with the controversial flyer or party. The man went on to say that the teens associated with the dance party wanted to impact the community in a positive way and reach out to those who are surrounded by street violence. He insisted that the flyer was a way to reach the masses via “gospel rap” and that its message was certainly not a negative one.
Reportedly, the venue’s owner, Vic McEwen, did not know that the party would be promoted using an image of the slain civil rights leader. When McEwen saw the flyer, he reportedly cancelled the event.