If the date doesn’t fit, you must move it. After (finally) setting the date for the Bronco reveal for July 9, Ford has changed its mind, opting to change the date of the reveal to July 13. Why? Three words: Orenthal James Simpson.
Ford has been trolled online and in the media for two weeks after (seemingly) inadvertently booking the day of the hotly anticipated Bronco debut to coincide with the 73rd birthday of O.J. Simpson.
You may remember that it was in a white 1993 Ford Bronco owned and driven by Simpson’s friend and former NFL linebacker Al Cowlings that lead police on a low-speed chase on the freeways around Los Angeles as Simpson sat in the passenger seat.
Police cars pursue the Ford Bronco driven by Al Cowlings, carrying fugitive murder suspect O.J. Simpson, on a 90-minute slow-speed car chase June 17, 1994 on the 405 freeway in Los Angeles, California.
Photo by Vinnie Zuffante/Archive Photos/Getty Images
Cowlings called 911 during the chase and explained that Simpson had pointed a gun at his own head and demanded that Cowlings drive him to his estate in Brentwood, California, a Los Angeles suburb. The 90-minute chase immediately gained the attention of the media and the public, who were already following the case of the tragic deaths of Simpson’s estranged wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her acquaintance Ron Goldman. Approximately 95 million Americans tuned in.
Simpson would famously go on to be charged with and found not guilty of the murders of Brown Simpson and Goldman, however he was found civilly liable for the wrongful death of and battery of Goldman, and battery of Brown. He was ordered to pay $33,500,000.
According to reporting by The Detroit Free Press, the chosen date deeply distressed the family of Brown Simpson. “I just don’t know if it’s a good marketing twist,” Tanya Brown, Nicole’s sister, told the Free Press.
In a statement to the Free Press, a Ford spokesperson characterized the date choice as “purely coincidental.”
Mark Truby, Vice President of Communications for Ford Motor Company said on Twitter today that the date has been changed in order to be “sensitive and respectful”.
Last year, AutomotiveMap was one of the first outlets to ride in the Bronco R, a prototype of the model that is set to go on sale later this year, that shares a powertrain with the 2021 Bronco.