Racist Mountain Dew ad

A new ad by soft drink purveyor Mountain Dew has many condemning it as racist and wholly offensive.

The ad, which is a part of an equally belligerent campaign, features Tyler the Creator and his envelop-pushing rap group, Odd Future. The spot depicts a beaten, bruised, and fearful white woman attempting to identify her attacker amid a lineup full of scary looking black men…and a goat.

How funny! *eye roll*

Though she has the support of the mostly white police officers (there appears to be a black cop in the shadows), the woman is too afraid to pick out her attacker—the goat—who continues to harass and threaten her. At one point, the goat tells the woman, “You betta not snitch on a playa” and “I’ma get outta here and do you up. Keep ya mouth shut.”

Although the perpetrator of the crime is a goat, the ad plays on nearly every negative stereotype of black men ever created–criminal, intimidating, scary, up to no good, prone to crime, untrustworthy—while attempting to make light of violence against women.

During one scene, the goat tells the shaken woman, “You shoulda gave me some more, I’m nasty,” which most likely relates to giving him more Mountain Dew, but eerily sounds like he is speaking of a sexually assault.

In another scene the cop tells the woman to “nail the little sucker,” while suggesting which man to identify. First, he says, “He’s wearing the do-rag,” then he points out the goat, saying, “It’s the one with the four legs.” Though his words are meant to be funny, it highlights the idea that when it comes to identifying criminals any black man will do.

Although the ad is satirical and was apparently written by Tyler the Creator, it still peddles many of the tired stereotypes black men have been fighting for years.

Dr. Boyce Watkins called the spot, “arguably the most racist commercial in history,” and the Daily Kos criticized it for being, “flagrantly racist.”

While I doubt this ad will run on TV, Mountain Dew, and its parent company PepsiCo, should have known better.

First of all, sexual assault and violence against women is not fodder for comedy. Victims of violence don’t need an obnoxious talking goat making light of their very real tragedies. Second, despite being helmed by a black man (who has joked and rapped about assaulting women), Mountain Dew’s ad executives should have know better than to release a commercial so rife with racist stereotypes that it has already been roundly criticized.

If Mountain Dew set out to create an ad campaign that would piss people off, then they succeeded. But if they want black audiences to start drinking their products, using Tyler the Creator and his brand of overly offensive “comedy” to make light of violence and racism is not the way to do it.

44 Comments

  1. Guest

    ‘Felicia the Goat’ isn’t talking like a black playa? The Jungle Book isn’t offensive because a black person played the role of a monkey, it is because the monkey is anthropomorphized AS black and simultaneously represented as SUB-human. Felicia is not even female. The goat is clearly talking like a black male, probably in the aspirational age range of the target market (which clearly includes white kids that aspire to be “black” as represented in such media). There have been great works of art that call out racism and sexism. This is NOTHING lke that. PepsiCo isn’t interested in thinking or visceral pieces that spark teachable moments. And if Tyler were, wouldn’t he have something better prepared? This is just where viral advertising lead by privileged identities goes. Those that are defending it should check that they’re not just feeling a little guilty that they laughed. You really shouldn’t have. Not unlike white guilt, really. So get a grip and learn from this one. It IS okay to call out a black man for being a fool and doing racist and sexist things. This conversation could be so much more than it currently is: expansion of a viral ad campaign intentionally initiated with racism and sexism impacts at a VERY cheap cost to those responsible while playing on the daily cost people of color and women pay every day.

  2. thequeenbee

    Oh… I never laughed because by the time I heard about the video, it was already taken down. So tell us, when whites anthromorphized Felix the cat (from Tender vittles) or the dog from bush beans, or the cuckoo bird from cocoa puffs, or the horse Mr. Ed or the Charlie the tuna in the Starfish commercials, or Barney the dinosaur or the ape-man in the Geico commercials, are whites self hating or denigrating to themselves and practicing racism? I’ve been black for over 50 years and guess what? There is nothing holy or sacrosanct about being black. It is not blasphemy or sacrilege to be the butt of jokes occasionally, to laugh at ourselves. we try to take ourselves so seriously about how we are depicted by others but seem to lag about how we conduct ourselves. I am not speaking merely of how (if Chappelle had made this a skit, most who are upset would be laughing, I am speaking about how black people conduct themselves on a daily basis in public, how kids act or act up at school, how people do not even bother to groom themselves. Guess what? Equal opportunity means also equal access to be laughed at and caricatured. It is the ability to move beyond our supposed “high ground” which is usually only “high” when we want to chastise others. I did not see the joke but this I know–after a while the whining gets nothing but ignored or disrespect because the fact is, we are worried about others or from within calling us pigs–but we still do not clean our house. black men refer to themselves as “dawgs” and women as “freaks” and it has entered into everyday lexicon (I remembered the first year a brother told me I was “One , fine , freak” I took it for a monumental insult–”freaks” being a word usually reserved for gross deformities. But then we also coined the phrases “chicks and foxes for women and cats for men –but it was ok because we started it?

    Be moan and cry all you want–but the fact is–pat of equality (not favoritism but EQUALITY) is being treated like everyone else–and since whites also anthromorphize animals and give them ethnic and colloquialisms from their own race–then “equality means we get treated no better. either move beyond our history or stay rooted and be subject to it–and maybe we need to move that boulder a bit on our shoulders, the woe- is my pity party for 42 million is really wearing us down.

    I don’t know if I would laugh at the ad if I saw it since the others appeared amateurish and not funny–but I do know that having come of age when things were much worse and oppressive than they are now (but at the same time improving more rapidly ) I’d say it’s time for a new song,, if we want anyone to listen because protesting every time a white person or blacks makes fun of a black negative is silly, disingenuous and makes us look like cry babies–it also inures people to real issues–like the fact that black men are disassociating themselves from black females at an alarming rate and that they nor the white women they go with respect the source of all people and especially the source of black men–black women. Now THAT is a subject worth pursuing, not this silliness.

  3. thequeenbee

    I’ve never seen a video by this artist not even this ad, though I did read the article and also googled this person prior to contributing.My mother is dead and she also never did drugs, nor did my Father–who was married to my mother. I am over 50 years old and the mother of 5 kids who are also (to date) grown and drug free.

    I have never done drugs in my life, but I do believe in being informed before giving an opinion as an opinion without being informed is called being ignorant and prejudiced. ..and you know black people know ALL about prejudging so we want to make sure we treat others how we would like to be treated. (the Golden rule–just in case you are a heathen and don’t read the bible before acting out either)

  4. thequeenbee

    Rochelle…and your retort shows how judgmental and WRONG you can be:

    My mother is no longer living, she never did drugs, neither did my father (military man) and yes, they were married. I am over 50, a mother of 5–never did drugs and to date neither have my grown children–they were taught that getting “high” or using drugs was for weak minds. the fact is, judging someone without even knowing what you are speaking about is being ill informed at best, ignorant and prejudiced at worst. the bible says “judge not, lest ye also be judged” and “Do unto others as you would have them to do unto you” or since you like to shoot your mouth first and not read at all, translate that to “treat others the way you would like to be treated” if you don’t wish to be judged without anyone knowing about you, try not to do it to others. another half raised Knee Grow, I see.

Sign in to leave a comment

Sign in with your account. Don't have an account? Register now!
More in advertisements, mountain dew
Close