This is probably one of the stupidest things that has ever happened. Basically – for some reason that definitely doesn’t make any sense to me whatsoever – Mountain Dew decided that it would be a good idea to get Tyler The Creator and Odd Future to be their brand spokesmen for some new ad campaign they were pushing.
I don’t really know why anyone would think that was going to be a good idea (I mean are Tyler The Creator and Odd Future even relevant anymore, aside from Frank Ocean? It’s not 2011 anymore bro) or that it wasn’t going to be controversial knowing those guys, but I guess Mountain Dew decided to take a punt on them to try and get down with the kids or something. Bad idea as it’s now been dubbed ‘the most racist advert of all time.’ Still, I guess there’s no such thing as bad publicity right?
The ad itself features a beat up woman coming in to identify a suspect in a police lineup, which is made up of members of Odd Future and a goat that is voiced by Tyler The Creator. The goat intimidates the woman into not identifying him (it?!) and eventually she runs off as fast as she can on her crutches, to which the cop says something like ‘that’s no good, she’s just gotta dew it’ and then a Mountain Dew logo comes up with the picture of the goat. Sounds like a pretty terrible advert right? Well yeah, it is.
Incidentally the goat is the new Mountain Dew mascot who has already appeared in a couple of commercials where he/she/it has evaded the law. Not sure if they were racist or not though because I haven’t seen them, I’m guessing not though. The goat is called Felicia FYI and her catchphrase is something like ‘you ain’t ever gonna catch me.’
You can check it out below. Apologies if this has been taken down already but apparently Pepsi (who own Mountain Dew) are scrubbing the internet of it such is the negative publicity about the alleged racism in the video:
Ok surely everyone must be thinking that it’s really stupid that this advert is being labelled ‘the most racist of all time?’ Yeah, I can see what they’re saying in that everyone in the lineup is black and that can kinda be perceived as the advert makers thinking criminals are all black but more importantly they hired Odd Future to endorse their products and they are all black I’m pretty sure (except for that lame white dude who sells the t-shirts – which I guess is kind of racist now that we think about it huh!?) so what did they expect?
And even more importantly Tyler the Creator – who is black – made the video so his intentions surely can’t have been racist!? Ok yeah, they didn’t need to do the ad with all of them being in a police lineup but I think most people who see the ad would just appreciate that it’s members of Odd Future (if they know who they are, but surely Moutain Dew hired them for the campaign because PEOPLE KNOW WHO THEY ARE) in a police line up and not see it as some grand statement on the link between black people and criminals, right?
Here’s what prominent social critic and Syracuse professor Dr. Boyce Watkins had to say about it: “arguably the most racist commercial in history. 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.” Again, I feel like this is a really dumb thing to say and just draws attention to stuff that nobody would even notice if it wasn’t criticised so widely and brought into the public eye. Attitudes like this and sensationalist statements like ‘this is the most racist advert of all time’ aren’t exactly moving the race issue forward either as it seems like they’re just determined to keep reminding people how out of touch with reality they are.
And it’s not like it’s actually comparing the black men to animals – it’s a joke/ironic that this goat is such a badass when there are all these tough Odd Future members around and that’s the running theme of the ad campaign. At least I think that’s the joke, I thought the ad sucked. I didn’t think it was racist or comparing animals to black people though – that’s such a dumb reading of it. I think most people from Tyler’s generation and even ones older than that would probably get that. Just take it as what it is – a really bad advert – and leave it at that.
Obviously I could be completely wrong in my interpretation of this and in actual fact be a racist, so please let us know what you think about it. I’m looking forward to being trolled and called a racist, so please make sure I get some of that.
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