Advertisers spent ridiculous amounts of money to showcase their products during the Beyoncé Formation World Tour warm-up/Super Bowl 50 last night—and nestled among the commercials for Big Auto and Big Avocado was little ol' Colonial Williamsburg. In an attempt to persuade people to visit the historic site, the ad pimped out the September 11th terrorist attacks—specifically the collapse of the World Trade Center.

The ad is a montage of American history—the flag-raising at Iwo Jimas; the Obamas after the inauguration; space shuttle launches; soldiers in war zones; immigrants at Ellis Island; civil rights marches; the Model T assembly line—but the footage is put in reverse. Narrator Tom Brokaw says, "When you reflect upon our sacrifices, our breakthroughs and yes our heartbreaks." Viewers were treated to the sight of the burning, smoking South Tower of the World Trade Center, being put back together through the magic of advertising. Brokaw continues, "Where did our fight come from? Our strength. Our heart. Where did our spirit first take shape?"

Viewers were not inspired:

Colonial Williamsburg wasn't going to take this sitting down (in a period-wingback chair by the light of a candle and a 21st century gadget with Twitter installed)—and Killam willingly engaged:

The actor added:

The ad's confusing execution seemed to suggest, as Slate summed up, "that Colonial Williamsburg wants to move back the clock on equality struggles. Come to our lovely village, where you don't have to worry about all that awful social progress!"

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation issued this statement:

In the days leading up to the Super Bowl, Colonial Williamsburg released an extended online version of its advertisement through its various social media channels. The ad garnered thousands of likes and shares alongside hundreds of positive comments within the hour. Youtube reviews alone ran 10-1 in favor of the ad. Its popularity, and the discussion of the events depicted in the ad, led to the conversation “trending” on Facebook.

We understand and respect that some of the images depicted in the ad are jarring. However, the small data point of people who objected to some of the imagery in the ad does not represent the total viewership. Not even close. We have received an outpouring of support on social media for the ad and its simple, powerful message: All that is past is prologue. Our ad is meant to walk viewers backwards through time, challenging them to reflect on how our collective history and struggles shape who we are as Americans today. We cannot forget our sacrifices or our tragedies even as we celebrate our accomplishments. Colonial Williamsburg does not shy away from these difficult moments in our history because they have made us who we are just as surely as our many triumphs.

Well, as long as it's trending on Facebook, that's all that matters! But one question: While there was footage of JFK's funeral cortege, why not the Zapruder film in reverse?