If you haven’t seen it, the ad features a goat named Felicia, an older beaten to the pulp white woman (a waitress) and five black men, including the goat in a police line-up. As far as most folks are concerned, right there you have a problem called racial stereotyping.
You see, the waitress, in bandages and on crutches, gets intimidated by Felicia the Goat (voiced by Tyler) and runs out of the police station screaming. Activist blogger/journalist Dr. Boyce Watkins couldn’t take it and wrote a post on his site, YourBlackWorld.net taking Mountain Dew and Tyler to task for what he described as “corporate racism.”
But like we say, we bet Tyler didn’t see it that way. In an MTV News piece, he says he saw it as a way to take his wild, child-like creativity to new heights. When he debuted the final installment of his three-part commercial in New York City on April 24, the Odd Future ring leader was proud of his creation.
At first Tyler didn’t want to get his hopes up after learning that the soft drink company was interested in hearing his pitch, but at the urging of his manager Christian Clancy, the rapper/producer and noted video director took the meeting.
“I’m gonna tell them some stupid idea I come up with five minutes before the meeting and they’re gonna think it’s f—in’ retarded,” Tyler told veteran hip-hop journalist Elliott Wilson onstage at his #CRWN interview series just minutes before debuting the commercial in question for a live audience. “I’m so used to people saying, ‘That’s f—ing retarded and I’m looking at Clancy like, ‘Yo are they serious’ and they actually liked it.”
The first commercial in the series follows Felicia the Goat (again, voiced by Tyler), who attacks a waitress after she fails to bring mass amounts of Mountain Dew. The second spot finds the goat eluding the police after a highway stop, and in the controversial third ad, the goat stands in a police lineup in the middle of five black men. The waitress, in bandages and on crutches, gets intimidated by the Felicia the Goat and runs out of the police station screaming.
That brings us to today. Under pressure, Pepsi yanked the Mountain Dew spots and issued the following statement:
“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.”
Yes Tyler, Pepsi absolutely loved your immature, “child-like” idea. It got them just what they wanted, lots of attention. Unfortunately, it was too much for them to handle. And it sounds like you’re still clueless as to what you’ve created.
However, in the wake of the outcry over the ad, Tyler’s manger, Christian Clancy, says we’re wrong and 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.”
Read the full story at MTV News. Watch the controversial ad below: