PepsiCo have pulled the Mountain Dew commercial directed by Odd Future head Tyler, The Creator after complaints surfaced of the spot being racist and poking fun at abused women. The commercial features a battered white woman being asked to identify her attacker in a line-up, which is comprised entirely of African-American males – aside from one goat, Felicia. Via Billboard Biz:
Jen Ryan, a spokeswoman for PepsiCo, said the company was alerted on Tuesday by its consumer relations team that some people found the ad offensive. The company immediately decided to take down the spot and was told by Tyler that he would remove it from his YouTube channel as well, she said.
The ad was never intended to air on TV, Ryan said.
Though he has made no official statement, Tyler, The Creator did tweet that the battered woman is actually a reference to the previous Mountain Dew commercial he directed.
IDIOTS THE LADY IN THE NEW MOUNTAIN DEW COMMERCIAL IS THE WAITRESS THAT GOT ATTACK RETARD— Tyler, The Creator (@fucktyler) April 25, 2013
It seems that the marketing move – while progressive – may have emerged slightly premature, as Tyler’s aesthetic is proving to be a little too much for mainstream audiences. Via Pitchfork:
The video is being called “arguably the most racist commercial in history” by author and scholar Dr. Boyce Watkins. He writes on his website, “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… Apparently, this is the kind of ad you put out if you want to appeal to the black male demographic.”
What do you think? Watch the pulled spot below.