Tyler, the Creator Explains Mountain Dew Ad Controversy
Tyler, the Creator, the man behind the production of PepsiCo's Mountain Dew commercial, spoke to Billboard following the controversy surrounding the ad. In the interview conducted on Thursday, May 2 along with Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All's manager Christian Clancy, Tyler claimed that he did not mean to portray black men in negative way.
Tyler explained that the main idea of the ad was Felicia, the talking goat, attacked a woman to get Mountain Dew because it loved the drink. The goat was put in line with the suspects because he thought it was funny to have a talking animal. Tyler defended his work, stating that he understood why several people deemed the ad offensive. He, however, explained why he featured black men as the suspects in the ad. "One, all of those dudes [in the line-up] are my friends," he said.
The second reason was that all of them wear their own clothes. Therefore, he did not assign them to wear specific clothing to bring stereotype of black people. "Three, no [commenters] saw that commercial and said, this is racist. Everyone either said, 'Wow, this is ridiculous, it's a goat talking,' or they said, 'Wow, this is the dumbest, why would they even make this?' " Tyler said.
He continued explaining, saying that in previous Mountain Dew ads, he scripted a scene of a black man with his Asian wife. In another scene, there was a black police officer listening to hardcore rock music, while black people are usually stereotyped not listening to the genre.
Tyler assumed that Dr. Boyce Watkins, who severely criticized the ad in a piece of web post, had different view because of age gap and probably he had hard times because of white people. "I look at it from his perspective. He's an older black man. So the things that he had to experience with racism and stereotypes and being a black man in this country, is different from mine," he said.
PepsiCo took down Mountain Dew ad on Wednesday, May 1, because it received backlash related to racism and violence to woman. The carbonated drink's commercial video shows a battered white woman on crutches trying to identify a suspect among five black men and a talking goat. The company has apologized via a statement released to public. Dr. Watkins later tweeted to Tyler, saying, "Studied your music, I have an altered perspective. Still could do without the ad, but I think you were well-intended. #respect."
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