On May 1, 2013 the sky was blue, the grass was green, gravity held humanity’s feet to the ground and Mountain Dew reportedly decided to pull an ad directed by Tyler, the Creator from its official online channels (via Mashable). The neon soda company had entered into a partnership with the Odd Future shock-star that gave Tyler creative control to direct a series of commercials, and it only took him three tries to cross a line. The most recent ad (shown above) depicts a battered white woman facing a police lineup of black men (played by Odd Future cohorts), who are shown as cartoonish ghetto criminals with names like Lil Musty and Beyonte. They are joined by a goat named Felicia — voiced by Tyler — who attacked the woman in a previous ad, and who urges her to stay silent, saying that “snitches get stitches.” Such is the genesis of the controversy surrounding the treatment, with the blowback being spearheaded by Dr. Boyce Watkins, who compared the ad to a “hip-hop minstrel show,” saying that Mountain Dew’s “decision to lean on well-known racial stereotypes is beyond disgusting.”
Tyler joins Rick Ross (recently dropped by Reebok over a lyric condoning rape) and Lil Wayne (who today issued a pseudo-apology for offensively referencing Emmet Till) as rappers who have recently found themselves ensnared in controversy.