Earlier today Mountain Dew announced that they have decided to pull Tyler, The Creator's latest Mountain Dew commercial from all Mountain Dew channels. The decision came after Dr. Boyce Watkins posted an article on his blog claiming, "Mountain Dew Releases Arguably the Most Racist Commercial in History."
In the commercial, Tyler's alter-ego Felicia The Goat is standing in a line of criminal suspects, whom are all African American, while attempting to intimidate an elderly white woman into not pointing him out. Watkins found that this commercial misrepresented young African American males.
"Of course, in the world of Mountain Dew, every single suspect is black. Not just regular black people, but the kinds of ratchety negroes you might find in the middle of any hip-hop minstrel show: Gold teeth, “mean mugging,” sun glasses wearing, white-t sportin, hard core n*ggaz ready to “get into some ol gangsta sh*t.” Apparently, this is the kind of ad you put out if you want to appeal to the black male demographic."
Mountain Dew released the following statement regarding their decision to pull the commercial.
“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.”
UPDATE: Odd Future has just issued an official response, via their manager Christian Clancy:
"In regards to Mountain Dew controversy:
It was never Tylers intention to offend however offense is personal and valid to anyone who is offended. Out of respect to those that were offended the ad was taken down. For those who know and respect Tyler he is known for pushing boundaries and challenging stereotypes thru humor. This is someone who grew up on David Chappelle. This situation is layered with context and is a discussion that Tyler would love to address in the right forum as he does have a point of view.
As someone who hasn't had the experience of being discriminated against i choose to respect the opinion of those who have.. what I can speak to is Tyler who represents much more than the current narrative this story suggests. Contrary to what many may discern from this Tyler is the embodiment of not judging others, his delivery may not be for everyone (which is true for anyone who pushes boundaries) but his voice is nonetheless impt to the conversation since his demographic understands what he ultimately stands for and sees the irony of it all. Context may or not help those who are offended and I wholly respect that but for those who are interested I can offer the following and leave the rest to Tyler.
1. This spot was part of an overall admittedly absurd storyline about a crazy goat who becomes obsessed with Mountain Dew
2. The lady in front of the lineup is the waitress from the first spot.
3. The lineup consists of Tylers friends and odd future members who were available that day. (LBoy, Leftbrain, Garret from Trash Talk and Errol)
4. He absolutely never intended to spark a controversy about race. it was simply an again admittedly absurd story that was never meant to be taken seriously.
Again we apologize if this was taken out of context and would never trivialize racism, especially now in America where voting and civil rights are being challenged at the highest level. I can however stand firmly by someone I have believed in since we met only because I know him and i know all of this was never his intent."
UPDATE #2: Tyler, The Creator has also responded to Dr. Boyce Watkins' reaction and the surrounding controversy in an interview with Billboard. Click here to read that article in full.