Tom Hanks to Narrate a Washington Post Super Bowl Commercial Defending the Freedom of the Press

If you are watching Super Bowl LIII tonight, and do so through the fourth quarter of what is predicted to be a close game, then you will see a commercial from the Washington Post.

While touchdown passes from the Patriots’ Tom Brady and Rams’ Jared Goff are sure to catch your attention, the estimated multimillion dollar commercial from The Post will be an attention grabber as well.

Actor and director Tom Hanks will be narrating the 60-second segment, which will focus on highlighting the role that  reporters play in the gathering of facts and the dissemination of information to the American people.

Photo credit: Ron Cogswell

“The Super Bowl is a remarkable moment to recognize the courage and commitment of journalists around the world that is so essential to our democracy,” explained the publisher and CEO of The Washington Post, Fred Ryan. “While most Super Bowl ad producers have the better part of a year, we had the lesser part of a week, but with an event this big, we decided to seize the opportunity to make this a milestone moment in our ongoing campaign to highlight reporters’ work and the importance of press freedom.”

The piece is expected to focus on the death of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi as well as other journalists who are missing or who have been killed.  It will also depict various scenes from major news events covered by The Post since World War II.

“Just last year, 64 journalists around the world were killed—and more than 250 jailed—simply for doing their jobs,” Ryan explained in a letter to employees. “We feel that this is the right moment, at the right venue, to present this important message to the large audience of Americans and international viewers that watch the Super Bowl.”

The idea for the commercial appears to be a spur-of-the-moment decision from The Post, as they only had less than a week to prepare and produce the segment.

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