Toyota Motor Corp. has postponed the online reveal of the redesigned 2021 Lexus IS sedan that had been planned for June 9 in the wake of ongoing civil unrest in the U.S. over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Lexus issued a two-sentence press release today, saying it “has respectfully postponed the world premiere of the new IS, which was originally scheduled for June 9. Revised timing will be announced soon.”
The Japanese automaker also issued a statement Wednesday decrying “unacceptable bigotry and a lack of education around the COVID-19 virus to more recent societal issues of violence, killings and racism against African Americans in Minnesota, Kentucky, Georgia and elsewhere.” It had planned to introduce the redesigned luxury sports sedan from its headquarters in Plano, Texas. Lexus announced the online event on Monday and released a teaser image with the announcement.
Floyd, a 46-year-old African American, died May 25 in Minneapolis after Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, knelt on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds while Floyd was handcuffed face down in the street.
The incident, captured on a cellphone video, set off waves of protests nationwide and across the world. Chauvin and three other Minneapolis Police officers were fired and face felony charges in the incident. A memorial service was held for Floyd on Thursday in Minneapolis.