A PepsiCo ad created by a rapper for soft drink Mountain Dew has been pulled this week after it was harshly criticized for portraying racial stereotypes and making light of violence toward women in what some have dubbed the "most racist commercial in history."
The 60-second spot was part of a series of online ads developed in partnership with rapper Tyler, The Creator. It was never slated to run on television, but that didn’t stop outraged viewers from complaining that the clip offended them.
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In the ad, a battered white woman is urged to pick out her attacker from a lineup of black men.
"Of course, in the world of Mountain Dew, every single suspect is black,"
Dr. Boyce Watkins, a social commentator, wrote in a blog post criticizing the ad. "Not just regular black people, but the kinds of ratchety negroes you might find in the middle of any hip-hop minstrel show: Gold teeth, 'mean mugging,' sun glasses-wearing, white-T sportin', ready to 'get into some ole gangsta s—.' Apparently, this is the kind of ad you put out if you want to appeal to the black male demographic."
A goat character known as Felicia is included in the lineup and makes threatening comments to the woman, such as "Ya better not snitch on a playa" and "Keep ya mouth shut."
The woman eventually screams "I can't do this, no no no!" and runs away. The word "do" is in apparent reference to the soft drink's "Dew It" slogan.
PepsiCo immediately pulled the ad after receiving complaints Tuesday and apologized for the commercial's offensive nature.
"We apologize for this video and take full responsibility. We have removed the video from all Mountain Dew channels and have been informed that Tyler is removing it from his channels as well." Jen Ryan, a spokeswoman for PepsiCo, said in a statement.
Here is the full version of the three-part ad series:
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