Cognac brand Hennessy is coming under fire for a recent PR release to publications by the liquor brand encouraging people to celebrate Martin Luther King Day not by giving back to their communities, or spending time in thoughtful reflection, but by mixing up a drink and toasting to the Civil Rights icon.

According to Los Angeles magazine, the release, sent via email, was titled, “Mixed Drinks MLK Jr. Would Be Proud of” (umm, seriously?), and promoted Hennessy V.S’s line of special mixed drinks.

Monday is Martin Luther King Day, a day used to commemorate the work of the Civil Rights activist. In the middle of winter, beaches and BBQ parties are impractical for the majority of the country that are given the day off.  Check out these delicious Hennessy V.S specialty mixed drinks that are perfect for any indoor gathering to celebrate Dr. King’s life.

This email comes on the heels of Dr. Bernice King speaking out against a smattering of party flyers using her father’s image to encouraging people to “twerk” in her father’s honor.

Speaking to Fox 5 in Atlanta, Dr. King called the flyers, one in which showed Dr. King draped in a gold chain and wearing a crown, “appalling.”

This imagery thing is just appalling, and it’s almost embarrassing. For me, as his daughter, it’s like ‘wow’, I lost a father who sacrificed everything for them to live a much more dignified and respectful life, and for it to come to this makes me sad.

It’s one thing if they want to party in celebration. It’s another thing when you take his actual image and suggest he is down with it like that.

I’m sad, really, that it’s come to the point where there’s a generation that has no appreciation and understanding for what my father stood for. It suggests to me we’ve got a lot of work to do to reach them.

Hennessy’ flub is yet another example of corporations getting it all wrong. I am almost certain whoever wrote the email will be fired, or at the very least reprimanded, but the fact that the company felt comfortable linking Dr. King’s legacy to mixed drinks speaks volumes.

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