Here's how not to sell a product: create an ad where a white woman, battered and on crutches, must pick from a lineup of five African-American men and a goat (named Felicia and known for taglines such as "Ya better not snitch on a playa" and "Keep ya mouth shut"). That ad for Mountain Dew, created by rapper Tyler the Creator, has landed the soda brand and its parent company, PepsiCo, in hot water.
PepsiCo pulled the ad after people pointed out just how offensive the spot was, reports Adweek. Said a PepsiCo rep to Adweek, "We understand how this video could be perceived by some as offensive, and we apologize to those who were offended... We have removed the video from all Mountain Dew channels and have been informed that Tyler is removing it from his channels as well." One social critic, Syracuse University professor Dr. Boyce Watkins, called the ad "arguably the most racist commercial in history." He wrote in a commentary, "Mountain Dew has set a new low for corporate racism. Their decision to lean on well-known racial stereotypes is beyond disgusting."
Tyler the Creator isn't the only Mountain Dew spokesperson under fire; just recently, the brand sparked controversy for spokesperson Lil Wayne's lyrics. They're sure making Pepsi spokesperson Beyoncé look like a breeze.
The label of Tyler the Creator responded and apologized for the ad, but said it was taken out of context. "The artist absolutely never intended to spark a controversy about race," the statement said. "It was simply an, again, admittedly absurd story that was never meant to be taken seriously." Still, will you be drinking Mountain Dew after this? Where's the good ol' wholesome Surge when we need it?