New York-10/06/2016—Symphonized is a producer and retailer of fine audio equipment. The company specializes in wood-based audio products. An advertisement for their new line of wood earphones depicted a Muslim woman and a Jewish man meeting at a bus stop and falling in love through the music the Symphonized headphones provided. Their vision for the video was to show that music can bring people together regardless of race, color, creed, or faith. The advertisement instigated a conversation on social media that resulted in extreme views that the company wishes to address in an official statement.
Symphonized is a company creates beautiful and unique products from a material that is both abundant and rarely used in this sphere: wood. Wood is a product that instills both awe and passion in those who have made it the focus of their craft. Music is the food of life and love. By combining the two, we believed that we could demonstrate what our company is really passionate about. This love of music and our belief in music’s power to inspire led us to create a video whose spirit and intent we still adamantly believe in. While some people truly enjoyed the video and understood that our message was one of bringing people together, many Muslims have expressed to us that the story told in the video was in opposition to cultural prohibitions. To those who politely educated us on why this video is offensive, we thank you. It was never our intent to offend anyone, but only to show the power of music to unite people.
Unfortunately, some chose to take it a step further than simply educating us on why this may or may not be appropriate. Employees at Symphonized have received death threats, including beheading and this is unacceptable. One of the most powerful precepts is that of free speech. The First Amendment was intended not to protect speech that is noncontroversial, but speech that may provoke thought, agitate, or inflame passions or else there would be no need to protect it. The creators of the video had no malicious intentions with the video, and on the contrary wanted the video to show that when two different ideologies come together in peace there is love. We stand by our video creator’s intentions and we ask only that people who have concerns or even angry feelings about the video can channel those feelings into appropriate communications and dialogue.
Symphonized requests that further communication about the video be directed using appropriate channels and dialogue.