News: Emmett Till Family React To Lil Wayne/Mountain Dew Break-Up
Saturday, May 4, 2013 11:00PM
A day after PepsiCo, Inc ended its business relationship with Young Money's Lil Wayne over controversial rap lyrics, the family of late civil rights symbol Emmett Till have reacted to the news.
Executive director of the Mamie Till Mobley Foundation Airicka Gordon-Taylor issued a statement on the big announcement this weekend.
"Back in February, when I first heard the lyrics, I was in utter shock, disappointment and sadness. Just as Mamie Till Mobley didn't endure the pain of losing Emmett Till alone, many people have stood in solidarity with our family, even if it wasn't the most popular stand to take. The road less traveled is surely not the easiest but standing for your principles provides the endurance needed to fight for human and civil rights. This decision was monumental, we commend Mountain Dew for taking action towards better social responsibility, and now I finally feel that we can exhale and focus on our beloved Mamie Till Mobley's charge, "Let's get on with the business of positive thinking and living"."" (AHH)
An eyewitness to Till's kidnapping also reacted to the family's moral victory.
Simeon Wright was an eyewitness to the kidnapping of Emmett Till. He was shocked that the Pepsi-owned Mountain Dew decided to cut ties with one of the biggest rappers out. "This is beyond my expectations, I'm pleased that it happened and it shouldn't waited for public outcry. Anything that belittles or degrades the memory of Emmett Till shouldn't be in the public square," Wright said. "Racism is still out there. Whatever you listen too, whatever you do, get an education. 'Don't let this system destroy you.'"Had the Till Family simply gotten the apology they deserved, this may not have happened. (AHH)
PepsiCo's decision to part ways with Wayne heated up the Internet Friday.
PepsiCo is cutting its ties with Lil Wayne after the rapper made a crude reference to civil rights martyr Emmett Till in a song. Lil Wayne, one of the biggest stars in pop music, had a deal to promote the company's Mountain Dew soda. Earlier this week, PepsiCo also pulled an online ad for the neon-colored soda that was criticized for portraying racial stereotypes and making light of violence toward women. The ad was developed by rapper Tyler, the Creator. (Billboard)
Both Wayne's camp and PepsiCo Inc. issued statements on their break-up.
PepsiCo Inc. said in a statement late Friday that Wayne's "offensive reference to a revered civil rights icon does not reflect the values of our brand." It declined to provide any further comment. A publicist for Lil Wayne, Sarah Cunningham, said that the split was due to "creative differences" and that it was an amicable parting. "That's about all I can tell you at this time," she said. (Mercury News)
Despite a heartfelt apology from Lil Wayne, his words had little to no impact on the Till family's issues with him.
A representative from Emmett Till's family said that Lil Wayne's apology for an "inappropriate" lyric in a remix of Future's "Karate Chop" did not suffice, TMZ reports. "While it's commendable that he has vowed to respect the legacy of Emmett Till and his memory to 'not use or reference Emmett Till or the Till family in his music,' this statement falls short of an apology, as none is mentioned," Airickca Gordon-Taylor, who is also executive director of the Mamie Till Mobley Memorial Foundation, said. (Rolling Stone)