By Maurice Bobb
Rap ads are in danger. After Dr. Boyce Watkins wrote a scathing post, “Mountain Dew Releases Arguably the Most Racist Commercial in History,” which appeared on YourBlackWorld Wednesday (May 1), alleging that a new commercial featuring Felicia the Goat, directed by Tyler, the Creator under his Wolf Haley alias, is rife with racist images and stereotypes, the PepsiCo-backed soft drink company pulled the ad and apologized in a statement to MTV News.
“We apologize for this video and take full responsibility,” the soda company said. “We have removed it from all Mountain Dew channels and Tyler is removing it from his channels as well.”
In his manifesto, Dr. Watkins said that the commercial, which features a Tyler-voice Felicia using phrases like, “better not snitch on a player” and “snitches get stiches,” used harsh racial imagery and language “to appeal to the black male demographic.”
“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,” Watkins wrote. “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.”
Additionally, Watkins holds the Wolf MC accountable for his input behind the campaign.
“Even worse is that Mountain Dew probably thinks this ad is acceptable because they got the OK from a black man,” Watkins continued. “In their thorough corporate oversight, Mountain Dew may not have realized that Tyler, the Creator is also the man who made a song called ‘Tron Cat,’ with a verse stating that he would ‘r@pe a pregnant b*tch and tell my friends I had a threesome.’”
Mountain Dew likely responded to the outcry immediately due to the added corporate scrutiny of major products and their synchronization with hip-hop pitchmen after Reebok was forced to severe ties with Rick Ross in light of controversial rape rap lyrics on the remix of Rocko’s “U.O.E.N.O.” Mountain Dew has also been taken to task by the family of Emmett Till for its relationship with Lil Wayne, who used the civil rights luminary’s name in a sexually-charged lyric on Future’s “Karate Chop (remix).”
Not surprisingly, social media critics took to Twitter to voice their opinion on the move.
@karen_lb_rooney “Wow. Racism and violence against women are not “funny” ad material. Shame on you @mtn_dew. I’m #NotBuyingIt.”
@JakeCraney “Tyler, The Creator’s ad shouldn’t have been cut for racism, people need to lighten up. Should have been cut for not being clever or funny.”
@Filmdrunk “Holy hell, this Tyler the Creator Mountain Dew commercial is amazing.”
@papi_sativa “Pissed off that i cant see the quote unquote “racist” tyler the creator ad.”
@the_blueprint “wait… mt dew got tyler the creator to make an ad for them? something about matches made in heaven.”
@Truu_Wavy “Them Tyler the Creator mountain dew commercials funny asf.”
@FloydMontel “@drboycewatkins1 Tyler the Creator’s commercial is fine and not racist at all. They’re thugs not random blacks and we fill up jails anyway.”
@DougWilliams85 “Tyler, The Creator and Mountain Dew: Proof that one doesn’t need to be white to further white supremacy.”
@MadamSophie88 “If Tyler, The Creator didn’t have a problem with the Mountain Dew ads, neither should your weak asses!”