UPDATE The Asbury Park Press reports that Bruce’s blood alcohol level was extremely low– 0.02– a quarter of the limit. The legal threshold indicating intoxication for driving purposes in New Jersey is .08, which calls into question why Springsteen was even charged with driving while intoxicated, their source wondered.
Jeep has pulled their two and a half minute Bruce Springsteen commercial. It’s the fallout from the news that Springsteen was arrested for a DWI in November 2020.
There were three charges involving driving drunk in an enclosed area, Gateway National Park in New Jersey. The park was closed, there was presumably no one around. But Springsteen has to answer the charges in court before the end of this month.
I wrote earlier that the whole incident was much ado about nothing, and I believe that as far as Bruce is concerned. Luckily, no actual harm was done.
It pains me to say this but there will be questions raised now about the commercial. Did Springsteen’s management tell Jeep when they signed the contract that Bruce had been arrested? Would Jeep have gone through with the deal knowing their spokesman had a DWI to plead?
And how much did Jeep pay for Bruce’s sponsorship? I wondered a few days ago if the number could be $20 million? Whatever it is, will it be rescinded?
“It would be inappropriate for us to comment on the details of a matter we have only read about and we cannot substantiate,” a spokesman for Jeep said in a statement. “But it’s also right that we pause our Big Game commercial until the actual facts can be established,” she said. “Its message of community and unity is as relevant as ever. As is the message that drinking and driving can never be condoned.”
The fact that Jeep seems to know nothing about all of this is very alarming. It’s hard to believe that Bruce et al didn’t tell them about the arrest, but that seems to be the case, at least for now.
Bruce Springsteen has always been a model public citizen. I’ve seen him do so many heroic and menschy things over the years, I can only extend him the benefit of the doubt. I hope everyone else will do that, too. But he may not receive free maintenance on his Jeeps anytime soon.