Those familiar with the music of Tyler, the Creator and his group Odd Future are more than familiar with the controversy caused by his lyrics and songs. Hate-ridden songs filled with homophobic slurs, misogyny and violence are common in his catalog, yet PepsiCo still called on him to lend a hand in creating unique advertisements for its soft drink Mountain Dew.
Now the results are causing a firestorm more than familiar to Tyler and downright scary for the suits at Pepsi. According to the Associated Press, an online ad for Mountain Dew has been taken down because an overwhelming number of people say the commercial portrays black men in a negative light (the spot features other Odd Future members) and makes a mockery of violence toward women.
In the 60-second spot — developed by Odd Future rapper Tyler, The Creator — a battered white woman on crutches is urged by an officer to identify a suspect out of a lineup of black men. A goat character known as Felicia is included in the lineup.
In the ad, which has been pulled from Odd Future's YouTube channel and Mountain Dew's Green Label Sound website, the goat makes threatening remarks to the woman such as "Ya better not snitch on a player" and "Keep ya mouth shut." She eventually screams "I can't do this, no no no!" and runs away.
The word "do" is in apparent reference to the soft drink's "Dew It" slogan.
PepsiCo Inc., based in Purchase, N.Y., apologized in a statement and said it understood how the ad could be offensive.
Tyler also told PepsiCo that he will remove the ad across his own social media outlets but did not apologize for the ad's content.
Read more at Billboard.
Jozen Cummings is the author and creator of the popular relationship blog Until I Get Married, which is currently in development for a television series with Warner Bros. He also hosts a weekly podcast with WNYC about Empire called Empire Afterparty, is a contributor at VerySmartBrothas.com and works at Twitter as an editorial curator. Follow him on Twitter.