Close up of homemade mini burgers with stew beef, tomatoes and basil on wooden background, Modern delicious fast food, Low angle view. (Photo by: Natasha Breen/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
Why A Burger King Ad Featuring A Famous Singer Stirred Controversy
By Cynthia Anaya
Burger King has made several commercials over the years featuring various celebrities, many of which were well-received by viewers. However, in 2012, the chain pulled a celebrity commercial featuring none other than the queen of hip-hop soul, Mary J. Blige, after receiving backlash from viewers.
The controversial ad involves Blige replacing the lyrics of her 2011 “Don’t Mind” song with words about Burger King’s chicken wrap ingredients. After the ad aired, viewers expressed their disapproval on social media, claiming that it fed into racist stereotypes specifically regarding Black people and fried chicken.
Burger King told the Associated Press in 2012 that it pulled the ad because it aired prematurely, but the company made no mention of fans’ criticism of racial stereotypes. Blige also apologized, claiming that she would never "do something so disrespectful to our culture ... purposefully” and that she wouldn't have knowingly allowed the ad to launch prematurely.