A Mountain Dew soft drink ad depicting a severely injured woman attempting to pick out a criminal in a lineup is receiving severe backlash after some deemed the commercial “racist.”
PepsiCo Inc. pulled the controversial advertisement Wednesday after the company was gaining attention following social commenter Dr. Boyce Watkins claims that the footage was “misogynistic,” deeming it “arguably the most racist commercial in history,” Reuters reports.
“Of course, in the world of Mountain Dew, every single suspect is black. Not just regular black people, but the kind of ratchet 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,” Dr. Watkins said on his blog, Your Black World.
The commercial is one in a series of ads for the soft drink featuring a talking goat named Felicia obsessed with the beverage. The first installment shows a waitress being brutally attacked by the animal after drinking a bottle of Mountain Dew. The controversial clip continues when the same female refuses to pick out the goat in a lineup of other suspected criminals. The catch: All of the suspects are male and African-American. The officer in the clip even points to one of the males and tells the victim to chose him, saying, “It’s easy; just point to him. ... He’s wearing the do-rag."
Consumers of the product were split regarding the alleged racist undertones in the commercial on the soft drink’s official Facebook page, some shaming the company, others complimenting the ads created by American rapper and music producer Tyler the Creator.
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“Anything you can do to demonize black men!” commenter Leo E. Spencer said. “Shame on you, your houses and your families!”
“I’m offended that Mountain Dew had to apologize about an extreme ad that fits their extreme mood for an extreme soda that people with extreme lifestyles generally drink,” said commenter Melanie Malizia.
A PepsiCo spokeswoman apologized in a statement Wednesday, calling the ad a “big mistake” and confirming the company would remove it from all channels.