What is the deal with inappropriate commercials lately?
Just last week Hyundai pulled an advertisement that poked fun at a man’s suicide attempt. In the ad a middle-aged man locks himself in his garage and turns on his Hyundai car engine in an attempt to gas himself.
But the attempt fails because, as the last seconds of the ad make clear, the car has a zero emission engine.
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Today, PepsiCo pulled a Mountain Dew video that was criticized for being extremely racist.
The ad, which is one of a series from Odd Future leader Tyler, the Creator, shows a white woman who has been obviously assaulted. The woman, standing behind a glass, is asked to identify her assailant in a lineup. The culprit, though, is a goat who tries to dissuade her by whispering things such as “Ya better not snitch on a playa,” and “Snitches get stitches,” under his breath.
The rest of the men in the lineup are all black men. Dr. Boyce Watkins noted that they’re “not just regular black people, but the kind of ratchety negroes you might find in the middle of any hip-hop minstrel show. Apparently, this is the kind of ad you put out if you want to appeal to the black male demographic.”
In addition to the racist nature of the ad, it is also quite sexist. The advertisement clearly shows a woman as a victim of an assault. Instead of encouraging the woman to speak up against the man who hurt her, she is dissuaded by scare tactics. Even though it’s a farm animal telling her not to rat him out, it doesn’t make it any less offensive.
After high-profile assault cases like that of Steubvenville Ohio recently, it seems insensitive to deter women from identifying their assailants. The goat in the video says, “Keep your mouth shut … I’m going to get out of here and do you up.”
Who ever approved this ad?
“We understand how this video could be perceived by someone as offensive, and we apologize for those who were offended,” a Pepsi representative told Adweek.
The video has been removed from all Mountain Dew channels as well as Tyler, the Creator’s channels but can be found on YouTube.
Follow Mary Ann Georgantopoulos on Twitter @marygeorgant