The advertising world faced a poignant challenge this week.
FanDuel has decided to revise its Super Bowl advertisement that features the late Carl Weathers in a respectful nod to the actor's recent passing.
The announcement came after the sudden death of Carl Weathers, a venerable actor known for his roles in iconic films and TV series, who was set to appear alongside Rob Gronkowski in a FanDuel commercial for the Super Bowl. The commercial, humorously titled "Kick of Destiny 2," intended to showcase Weathers as Gronkowski's coach as the latter attempts a field goal. The collaboration between the sports betting company and the actors was highly anticipated, but plans changed with Weathers' death last week.
The loss of Carl Weathers was felt deeply across the entertainment and sports world. Before his death, Weathers had completed filming for the ad, which made the announcement of his passing even more sorrowful. The preview of the ad, which had already been shared with the public, featured Weathers, hinting at what was expected to be a memorable Super Bowl moment.
FanDuel, in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, expressed its sorrow over Weathers' death, emphasizing his impact on and off the screen. The company acknowledged the delicate situation and decided to adjust the Super Bowl campaign out of respect for Weathers' family and his legacy. The specifics of these adjustments were not disclosed, leaving many to wonder how the ad will pay tribute to Weathers while still engaging the Super Bowl audience.
FanDuel was fortunate to have had an opportunity to work with him during our Super Bowl campaign. We are adjusting our campaign accordingly out of respect for the family during their time of grief.
Carl Weathers' career spanned decades, with memorable roles in "Rocky," "Predator," "Happy Gilmore," "Arrested Development," and "The Mandalorian."
His versatility as an actor and his contributions to the arts and sports were unparalleled. His family's statement after his passing highlighted his exceptional humanity and the extraordinary life he led. Through his work, Weathers has left an indelible mark, recognized worldwide and across generations.
The decision by FanDuel to adjust their Super Bowl ad is a testament to the respect and admiration felt for Carl Weathers. The company has yet to reveal how the ad will be altered, whether by editing Weathers' appearance or removing it entirely. However, the intention is clear: to honor a beloved actor in a manner befitting his legacy.
In light of Carl Weathers' passing, this year's Super Bowl ad landscape will undoubtedly be tinged with a sense of loss. The decision to alter the ad reflects the impact of Weathers' death and highlights the broader implications of celebrity endorsements and their unforeseen challenges.
FanDuel's response to this situation has been watched closely as it navigates the complexities of respecting a beloved figure's legacy while engaging a vast audience during one of the most watched events in American sports.
As fans and viewers anticipate this year's Super Bowl commercials, the presence of Carl Weathers, even in modified form, will serve as a poignant reminder of his lasting impact on film, television, and beyond.
FanDuel will adjust its Super Bowl advertisement featuring Carl Weathers as a respectful gesture following the actor's recent passing. Weathers had completed filming for the commercial, where he was cast as Rob Gronkowski's coach.
The decision reflects FanDuel's commitment to honoring Weathers' legacy and impact in entertainment and sports, while details of the ad's adjustments remain undisclosed. This change underscores the sensitivities around posthumous celebrity endorsements and FanDuel's effort to pay tribute to Weathers during one of the year's most-watched events.