Mountain Dew recently released its third installment of their commercial campaign, designed in part by the misogynistic and homophobic Tyler the Creator and his evil spawn, Odd Future. I’m seriously at a loss with this one folks. It’s so high up in the “what were they thinking?!” category that you wonder if it’s all just a bad dream. Let’s break it down and try and see why ON EARTH anyone would consider this commercial suitable to air. First, we begin with the sounds of a jail cell and a lineup of the members of Odd Future, all African American males, holding police identification signs as a camera flashes, similar to that done in a booking after arrest. Amongst them is a goat. This is the only nod to Mountain Dew we can see thus far; their mascot for past advertisements has been a mountain goat.
Next, we see an older Caucasian male in a suit, holding a bottle of Mountain Dew (the second and final nod to the actual brand) standing over a severely distressed woman. She looks as though she has very recently been assaulted, is on crutches and in casts with visible bruising and bleeding, and her hair is messy. It’s important to note that she is bleached blonde and Caucasian.
What follows next is amalgamation of all your drunken nightmares: “It’s easy, just point to him” the suit coaxes. ” You betta not snitch on a playaaaa” taunts the GOAT. Because he can talk. “No!” cries the woman, not for the last time. “He’s wearing the du-rag” prods the suit, and we flash to a close up of one of the males in the lineup. “Snitches get stitches fool” the goat sneers. It continues on in this vein for a bit, only escalating in its absurdity. “Keep your mouth shut, keep your mouth shut” warns the goat, as the woman cries “No!” over and over and the camera moves ever closer to her anguished face. The goat continues his tirade; “Imma get outta here and Imma dew you up!” The whole horrific scene ends with the woman screeching “I can’t do this, I can’t do this” and fleeing whilst still yelling “NO NO NO!!” I can’t even begin to describe the different ways in which this commercial was offensive, but I’m certainly going to try. Let’s start with the obvious, using only African American males as the alleged criminals in a line up, aside from an animal. The implication that the animal was indistinguishable from the men. The harassment of a victim of assault in a very real scenario (the lineup) made absurd by addition of said animal and it’s taunting. THE FACT THAT THIS IS A COMMERCIAL FOR A SOFT DRINK. This made me so mad that the next time I go to KFC I’m going to demand a meal without a drink. I don’t care if it costs more. If there was a soda machine near me right now, I don’t think I’d be above vandalizing it. I want to scrawl RACIST over every Pepsi affiliated subway ad and billboard. It will be me vs. Times Square, armed only with a sharpie and my determination to find some way to scratch that commercial from my mind. Please view, share and let me know what you think in the comments. I’ll be over on twitter getting blocked by all of Pepsi’s accounts, particularly Mountain Dew. We can save the discussion of why soft drinks have a social media presence for another day. UPDATE: Mountain Dew and PepsiCo have removed the video from all their channels and have asked Tyler the Creator to do the same. PepsiCo have released the following statement:
We apologize for this video and take full responsibility.
The Mountain Dew twitter, however, simply wrote: Call me unforgiving, but I fail to see how these short statements address any of the concerns raised by the video. In fact, the Mountain Dew tweet skirts around apologizing altogether. I suggest their next campaign should be to Dew better™.