Mountain Dew pulled its latest ad, made by rapper Tyler, The Creator, after it got slammed by critics for promoting racial stereotypes and normalizing, if not glorifying, violence against women.
The controversial YouTube video is the third in a series created and directed by the rapper. The ad opens with a battered Caucasian waitress on crutches trying to identify her attacker in a police lineup. The choices are five black men and Felicia the Goat, the hopped-up-on-Mountain-Dew star of the series who is voiced by Tyler.
Then the goat starts intimidating his victim, admitting he did it since she didn't give him enough Mountain Dew, taunting "You better not snitch on a player," "Snitches get stitches, foo," and finally to tie-in the name of the soft drink, "Keep ya mouth shut, I'm going to get out of here and Dew you up."
Viewers are left with a visual of the woman screaming "No, no, I can't do this" as she runs out of the room, passing a shrugging cop who takes a big gulp of the soda.
The previous ad in the series showed Felicia the Goat fleeing the cops after getting arrested for a DewUI.
You can now remove your jaw from the floor.
If you're wondering how PepsiCo OKed this problematic ad, the answer might be that the company simply didn't oversee Tyler, The Creator properly.
Ryan said that Tyler had "final approval" over the ad but did not know the details of PepsiCo's involvement. The ad was never intended to run on TV, she said.
Mountain Dew is getting slammed for both the racial and violence-against-women-friendly components of the spot. In an article titled "Mountain Dew Releases Arguably the Most Racist Commercial in History," Dr. Boyce Watkins writes:
"Of course, in the world of Mountain Dew, every single suspect is black. Not just regular black people, but the kinds of ratchety negroes you might find in the middle of any hip-hop minstrel show. Mountain Dew has set a new low for corporate racism. Their decision to lean on well-known racial stereotypes is beyond disgusting. This doesn't even include the fact that the company has put black men on par with animals."
Tyler, The Creator hasn't commented on the ordeal, although he did tweet an unhappy face earlier today:
That, however, might be referring to the breakfast cereal he ate this morning rather than the ad controversy:
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