A security buzzer blasts and the camera pans in on a police line-up with five black male suspects with gang banger-sounding monikers like “L Boy” and “Lil Musty” … and Felicia the Goat. On the other side of the glass, a bulky, middle aged white guy in a cheap suit — possibly a prosecuting attorney — leads in a frail, trembling blonde woman (also white) sporting a neck brace, crutches, and a black eye. Clearly, she’s been roughed up by one of these scary looking black dudes … or the brown goat.
The man points to the suspects with the bottle of Mountain Dew he just happens to be carrying, and commands, “Alright, we’ve got ’em all lined up. Nail this little sucker. C’mon, which one is he?” The woman grows increasingly agitated, as the goat makes threatening comments in a creepy, scratchy voice that (apparently) only she can hear … like, “It’s me. You should’ve gave me some more … I’m nasty,” and “better not snitch on a playa,” and “snitches get stitches, fool!” The first comment gives the impression that Felicia the Lesbian Goat had possibly sexually assaulted AND beaten the protagonist of this sorry tale.
Man, that’s one b-a-a-a-a-a-a-d-ass goat (pun intended). The woman cries, “I can’t do this! I CAN’T DO THIS! No! No! No!” and hobbles out of the room screaming.
That’s the incredibly offensive Mountain Dew commercial released yesterday by Pepsico — and then pulled amidst cries of racism and sexism. Okay, our culture still has an unfortunately high tolerance for sexism. But did Pepsico really think their long history with the black community* — and hiring the African-American rap star Tyler the Creator to produce this unspeakably vile piece of crap — gave them a free pass on racism? And what does this ad say about Mountain Dew’s target audience? Which — according to Business Week — are young black and Latino males, ages 18-24. Do the folks at Pepsico seriously think that young black and Latino men think it’s cool to beat women and get away with it? If I were one of these guys, I’d be insulted as hell.
When I first read Dr. Boyce Watkins‘ indignant article in Your Black World, “Mountain Dew Releases Arguably the Most Racist Commercial in History,” I thought that surely this must be some sort of joke. Surely, a familiar household brand like Pepsico wouldn’t tarnish its wholesome image with such dreck. Unfortunately, Watkins turns out to be an economist and political analyst, not a comedian.
Mountain Dew has set a new low for corporate racism. Their decision to lean on well-known racial stereotypes is beyond disgusting […] Even worse is that Mountain Dew probably thinks this ad is acceptable because they got the OK from a black man [Tyler the Creator].
He also points out that prison, violence, and no-snitching culture have taken an immense and tragic toll on the black community, and should not be celebrated by Corporate America. After much outcry from the African-American community, women, and bloggers, Pepsico finally withdrew the offending ad. Unfortunately for them, as Carl L. Miller, the Harvard Race Relations tutor, social worker, and documentary film maker wryly comments from the video he immediately posted on YouTube, “They obviously don’t understand how the Internet works. lol.”
Here’s the video, thanks to LiveLeak.com … Pepsico keeps taking ’em down, but folks keep putting ’em up:
* In 1940, Pepsico was the first major soft drink company to reach across the color barrier and pay blacks the dubious honor of marketing to their demographic. Scroll up or click your browser’s BACK button to return to the article.
|Elisabeth Parker is a writer, Web designer, mom, political junkie, and dilettante. Come visit her at ElisabethParker.Com, “like” her on facebook, “friend” her on facebook, follow her on Twitter, or check out her Pinterest boards. For more Addicting Info articles by Elisabeth, click here.|