Odd Future’s Tyler, the Creator has finally stepped forward to speak out days after Mountain Dew issued a public apology for its association with his controversial “racist” commercial.
In Tyler’s perspective, his outrageous ad was nothing more than silly humor and had nothing to do with racial undertones.
“I guess people are claiming that it’s racist, which… you know, that wasn’t even portrayed in that commercial, there’s no type of hate being portrayed in that work of art at all — which I’m confused by. But this older black dude, Dr. Boyce Watkins, I guess he found it racist because I was portraying stereotypes, which is ridiculous because, one, all of those dudes [in the line-up] are my friends. Two, they’re all basically in their own clothes. It was originally supposed to be just two dudes, but Garrett from Trash Talk came with his friend and other people had showed up, so I just put all of them in that line-up, if you really wanna know the truth. Three, no [commenters] saw that commercial and said, this is racist. Everyone either said, “Wow, this is ridiculous, it’s a goat talking,” or they said, “Wow, this is the dumbest, why would they even make this?” So for [Watkins] to nitpick and notice that, clearly shows his state of mind is on some other sh- that I can’t comprehend, for him to actually sit there and for him to notice that it’s all blacks [in the lineup]. That wasn’t my intention.” (Billboard)
His manager, Christian Clancy, spoke out this week and said the dicey ad was taken too seriously.
Tyler, the Creator has a unique voice and a boundless creative spirit, and while his latest Mountain Dew ad may have been offensive to some, Odd Future’s co-manager Christian Clancy maintains Tyler meant no harm. “It was never Tyler’s intention to offend however,” Clancy wrote in a statement he issued to MTV News and posted on his Tumblr on Wednesday (May 1). “Offense is personal and valid to anyone who is offended. Out of respect to those that were offended the ad was taken down.” (MTV)
Buzz behind the swift removal bubbled online Wednesday (May 1) afternoon.
An online video promoting Mountain Dew that stars members of the Los Angeles-based hip hop collective Odd Future is being called racist and misogynistic. The 59-second ad depicts a detective drinking a Mountain Dew while prodding a bruised and beaten white woman to pick out her attacker from a lineup of four black men – members of Odd Future – and a goat. The ad first appeared on Odd Future’s YouTube channel and has since been taken down. It’s unclear what role Mountain Dew had in producing the spot and the video does not appear on Mountain Dew’s official Facebook page or website. But Odd Future musician Tyler the Creator said in a recent interview that he met with company representatives about his idea for a goat commercial and got it budgeted. (NBC Bay Area)
The battered woman goes on to single out one of the men she knows did not commit the crime.
From the woman’s demeanor and the goat’s dialogue in the line-up video, it’s clear the animal is responsible for her wounds. The same woman appears as a waitress giving the goat a Mountain Dew in an earlier video by the same group. Thirsty for more soda, the goat smacks the woman in the face with its hooves and chases her. “Ya better not snitch on a playa,” the goat says in a scruffy voice from behind the one-way glass in the line-up video. Shaking and scared, the woman repeatedly tells the officer she cannot choose before hastily hobbling away on crutches. “He’s the one wearing a do-rag,” the officer tells the woman. He then says, “Come on, it’s the one with the four legs.” (NBC Bay Area)
Despite Tyler’s attempt at humor, the video has sparked outrage amongst people including social commentator Dr. Boyce Watkins who wrote a blog post going at Mountain Dew.
“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. The holocaust of mass incarceration and the glorification of violent prison culture has taken a tremendous toll on the black community. Corporations are making it cool for black men to murder one another, while gun manufacturers ensure that the streets are flooded with the weapons necessary for us to complete our own genocide.” (Your Black World)
In light of the backlash, Mountain Dew has released an apology.
Mountain Dew responded swiftly, however, yanking the ads and expressing their regrets in a statement to MTV News. “We apologize for this video and take full responsibility. We have removed it from all Mountain Dew channels and Tyler is removing it from his channels as well,” the soda company said. (MTV)
The controversial video started circulating online last week.
Tyler, the Creator has shared his third commercial spot for Mountain Dew, furthering the misadventures of Felicia the Goat. When last we saw the criminal quadruped, she was on the run from the fuzz after assaulting a waitress and then getting pulled over and cited for a “Dew-U.I.” It seems that she was nabbed in the interim (the goat had been on the lam for a month) and thrown into a police lineup. In the clip above, Felicia appears next to a real rogue’s gallery: Loiter Squad star L-Boy, fellas named Lil Musty, Lamoahn, and Tiny, plus MellowHype member Left Brain under the alias of Beyonte (FTW). The waitress returns, her injuries looking worse than ever, but the pressure of facing her attacker is too much to bear. And it doesn’t help that Felicia the felonious goat is sending her some seriously threatening vibes. (SPIN)