Porsche has come under fire today over claims it has airbrushed out the famous Cristo Rei landmark in Lisbon in a video celebrating 60 years of the iconic 911 sports car.
The controversial ad, which features luxury Porsche cars cruising along the mountains in Portugal, has been deleted from the manufacturer’s YouTube channel but remains on their website.
In the promotional clip, a woman’s red Porsche speeds past Lisbon’s 25 de Abril Bridge – from which you can usually see the iconic Cristo Rei (Christ the King) statue overlooking the capital.
But the famous landmark – which was inspired by the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil – has been edited out, with Porsche opting instead to just show the 75ft concrete plinth.
Porsche refused to comment after being contacted by MailOnline.
It comes after other controversy around organisations ‘airbrushing’ religion, including universities coming under fire for dropping Christian term names and telling students not to say ‘Christian name’ or ‘surname’ because the terms are ‘offensive’.
The promotional video features the new Porsche 9/11 S/T model which costs £231,600 and can reach 186mph, although just 1,963 models have been produced. The 911 model has been the identity of the Porsche brand since 1963.
It has sparked fury online, with some calling for the ‘woke’ company to be boycotted, while others questioned why they filmed the clip from that angle if they were just going to edit out the statue.
One user, who reposted the video on Twitter, now called X, said: ‘Hey, @Porsche, why did you erase the statue of Jesus Christ from your video filmed in Lisbon?’
The tweet has been seen by more than two million people, as thousands of comments calling out Porsche flooded in.
One user tweeted: ‘Wow and that’s a beautiful statue to see in person. I drove on that bridge and it’s truly amazing. I’m marking Porsche off my list of future purchases. They should be ashamed!’
Another said: ‘That’s horrible. For what reason would it be taken out?’
A third added: ‘Because Porsche is woke’. And a fourth said: ‘That’s just ridiculous, to remove a iconic statue from a commercial.’
Questioning why Porsche had chosen to use that shot, another said: ‘They did not have to film this location/angle at all, so many alternative locations that would have taken nothing away from the advert.
‘Yet they decided to include the statue/base so they could erase the most important part of it.’
The giant statue dates back to the 1950s and was erected to express gratitude because the Portuguese survived the horrors of World War 2 as the country was officially neutral.
It depicts Christ with his arms raised, blessing the city of Libson. Visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of the capital from the 75m high viewing platform.
The stunt by Porsche comes in the wake of other institutions coming under fire for Christian-related incidents.
In 2017, budget supermarket Lidl faced a backlash after airbushing Christian symbols from packaging to remain ‘religiously neutral’. The chain released a Greek food range with pictures of the famous Anastasis Church in Santorini, Greece.
But some customers spotted the packaging did not feature the Christian crosses that usually adorn the top of the church dome.