Mountain Dew Pulls ‘Racist’ Tyler, The Creator Ad: ‘We Apologize’
The beverage brand is known for their edgy ad campaigns designed to capture the attention of a young market, may have went too far with their Tyler helmed spots. The clips were singled out by viewers who claimed it had racist overtones and displayed an insensitivity to violence against women.
The storyline begins with Part 1 where a peculiar goat, voiced by Tyler, abuses a waitress who offers him a Mountain Dew. When he finally drinks the entire bottle, he continues to batter her while demanding more.
In the second spot, the goat is pulled over while speeding in a car, presumably drunk off of too many Dews.
The third ad in the series shows a group of black men (members of Tyler’s Odd Future crew) in a police line-up with the goat. While an officer coaxes the battered waitress to point out the culprit, the goat can be heard threatening her from the other side of the window.
Criticism for the spots exploded onto social media, including one scathing blog post from Dr. Boyce Watkins, who called it “arguably the most racist commercial in history.”
As a result of the blowback, PepsiCo pulled the spots and offered an apology.
“We understand how this video could be perceived by some as offensive, and we apologize to those who were offended,” a representative from PepsiCo told Adweek. “We have removed the video from all Mountain Dew channels and have been informed that Tyler is removing it from his channels as well.”
Tyler later tweeted a message of his own.
I Would Love To Have A Convo With @drboycewatkins1
— Tyler, The Creator (@fucktyler) May 1, 2013
The latest dustup comes days after Mountain Dew was criticized for the lyrics of their other rap spokesperson, Lil Wayne. The estate of Emmett Till, the 14 year-old boy who was killed in Mississippi in 1955, called for Mountain Dew to drop Wayne over lyrics they deemed insensitive.
In April, Rick Ross was dropped by Reebok after he was called out for the lyrics he rapped on Rocko’s “U.O.E.N.O.” that critics said glorify rape.