Not long after getting heat over its endorsement deal with Lil Wayne, Mountain Dew is under attack for releasing an advertisement that one cultural commentator labeled "arguably the most racist commercial in history." Although PepsiCo has already apologized and taken down the one-minute commercial, you can still view it over at the Hollywood Reporter.
Hey guys - made a big mistake we've removed the offensive video from all our channels. #fail— Mountain Dew® (@mtn_dew) May 1, 2013
The ad features Felicia the Goat—a character who beat up a woman in Tyler, the Creator's first Mountain Dew ad—standing in a police lineup of Odd Future members and associates. A cop tries to get a battered woman to ID the goat as her assailant, but the goat's hissed threats scare her into silence. "You shoulda gave me some more, I’m nasty," the Tyler-voiced goat rasps to the beaten (and possibly sexually assaulted) woman. "Keep ya mouth shut. When I get outta here, I’m gonna do you up."
The ad was immediately decried as racist and misogynistic, with social activist Boyce Watkins calling it "a new low for corporate racism." Pointing out the ad "leans on well-known racial stereotypes," Watkins criticized it as a "disgusting glorification of violence and thuggery." Earlier today, PepsiCo took down the ad and released a statement apologizing for the video.
While "sorry" is a good start, the fact that PepsiCo released this ad in the first place points to a serious skewed corporate worldview. Especially since Tyler, the Creator has been quoted as saying the soda company "actually liked" the initial idea. Not to mention that the commercial featuring Felicia the Goat repeatedly hitting a waitress is still online.
While it's hard to say what the soda giant could do to rectify this situation, they might want to consider not making business partnership with people famous for rapping about raping women in the future.