Mountain Dew released a new commercial which got viral over the internet but was not slated for television.
The reason why PepsiCo is (entirely) pulling off the commercial from the internet as well as not airing it on television is because it is being regarded as the most ‘racist’ advertisement ever by the viewers in general.
The ad features a line of criminals and thugs, all African American men, along with Felicia the Goat. (Felicia is the main character for Mountain Dew’s new series of ads created by Tyler the Creator.) A Caucasian woman, brutally battered, is asked by a white police warden to identify her attacker from among the people including Felicia the Goat.
Now, not only the depiction of criminals belonging to a particular race and color sparked a debate but also the color of Felicia the Goat’s shirt, which is black, garnered a lot of criticism.
A social commentator and blogger, Dr. Boyce Watkins, wrote on his blog, “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.”
People are also mad about the fact that the advert was ‘evidently’ racist and yet it got approved by the company.
Just saw the Mountain Dew ad that's been pulled for being racist. It is possibly the dumbest advert I have ever seen.— Hayley Constantine (@hayles) May 2, 2013
At the end of the advert Felicia the Goat utters awful threats to the beaten woman who gets scared, screams out loud and then leaves the room.
Now, according to the concept of the ad, this part was supposed to be funny. But people think otherwise since violence against women can never be hilarious and this advert was just an attempt to do that.
Watched Tyler the Creator's Mountain Dew ad. It's the most disgusting thing I have ever seen. Violence against women is NEVER okay.— Allison Claytor (@500daysofalbie) May 2, 2013
Companies, especially huge names like PepsiCo, should be really careful with the selection of concepts for adverts these days. Almost everything in the media is under scrutiny, especially after the advent of social media platforms and the blogosphere. Just last week, Hyundai had pulled off an advertisement because it glorified suicide.
PepsiCo has apologized and removed the commercial from all its websites. However, the advert is still available on different video streaming sites such as YouTube.
Have you watched the controversial commercial? Do you agree it is the most racist ad ever? You can share your thoughts in the comments section.