Newsweek Under Fire for Tweeting Tasteless Image of MLK

"Why, @Newsweek? Wow."

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martin luther king newsweek
Martin Luther King’s fatal shooter, James Earl Ray, confessed to his murder but later recanted. (Wikimedia Commons)

Newsweek on Monday tweeted an image reminding the public that 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s death, but the image it posted was repugnant. The weekly publication posted a photo of King in a casket to accompany an article about other historical anniversaries.

“Has anybody here seen my old friend Martin?” the tweet read.

The line is from the 1968 Dion song, “Abraham, Martin and John,” which was recorded by Marvin Gaye two years later. The tune is a tribue to Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr., John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy, who were each assasinated.

martin luther king newsweek

King’s youngest daughter, Bernice King, questioned the use of the “insensitive” image and slammed the “zealousness of publishing” it.

“It was very difficult to see that,” she said in a Monday, Jan. 1 Perioscope stream. “I think sometimes in the zealousness of publishing and wanting to get the ratings, we do things without thinking fully. You know, Dr. King, yes he’s … a great figure of American history and he has and continues — even in his death — to make a great impact on humanity, globally. But we must never forget that Dr. King was a husband and he was a father. And so, we deal all the time with continuing to manage our father and the great work that he’s done and [deal] with having to face these kinds of things.”


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Others began chiming in, too.

Newsweek later removed the offending tweet and posted an apology to King.

The activist added in her Perioscope that she was, thankful for Newsweek “immediately responding and removing the image and giving an apology.”

“Apology accepted, but I also want to challenge … all of the news media and news outlets and individuals that we just keep in mind that there is a family, a family that had a great loss 50 years ago,” she noted. “Even though it’s been 50 years, it’s still very difficult.”

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