May 1, 2013 No Comments ›› Jake Hammer
Excerpted from New York Daily News: PepsiCo is once again learning the risks of celebrity partnerships after an ad for Mountain Dew was criticized for portraying racial stereotypes and making light of violence toward women.
The soda and snack food company said it immediately pulled the 60-second spot after learning that people found it was offensive. The ad was part of a series developed by African-American rapper Tyler, The Creator, and depicted a battered white woman on crutches being urged to identify a suspect out of a lineup of black men.
PepsiCo says it’s pulling an outrageous Mountain Dew commercial that has offended online viewers in recent days due to sensitivities in terms of racism and violence toward women. The 60-second spot, which is still live on a few individuals’ YouTube channels, depicts a badly battered woman on crutches who is being pressed by a cop to pick a suspect out of a police lineup of five African-American males and a goat named Felicia.
The actors are members of the music group Odd Future in an unusual video series created by the alternative hip-hop ensemble’s co-founder, Tyler, The Creator. In a spot that drew a flurry of criticism this week, the goat Felicia—in a male voice—taunts the battered woman with phrases like “snitches get stitches, fool,” “keep your mouth shut” and “I’m going to get out of here and do you up.”
One social commentator, Dr. Boyce Watkins, called it “arguably the most racist commercial in history.” After being asked about the spots yesterday, a PepsiCo spokesperson emailed Adweek this morning to state that the video is getting taken down.
“We understand how this video could be perceived by some as offensive, and we apologize to those who were offended,” the rep said. “We have removed the video from all Mountain Dew channels and have been informed that Tyler is removing it from his channels as well.”