In the worst story involving public outcry over a Mountain Dew-backed rapper since the last one, Odd Future’s Tyler The Creator has come under fire, again, for a commercial he made for the soft drink, an ad that’s been accused of treating touchy social issues as sensitively as Mountain Dew treats your kidneys. PepsiCo has already pulled and apologized for the video, which was part of an ongoing series starring the Tyler-voiced “Felicia The Goat,” whose discerning goat-palate apparently yearns equally for hot garbage and Mountain Dew—this to the point where Felicia embarks on a cross-country rampage, assaulting all who stand in her way of getting the neon drink she can’t just buy because she is a goat. One of Felicia's victims, a white waitress, appears in the controversial ad, facing a police lineup that includes Felicia alongside members of Odd Future, as Felicia warns, "Snitches get stitches, fool" while also threatening to escape and “Dew her up." ("We like the cool hip-hop slang, but is there some way you could also make our brand name a euphemism for smacking around the ladies?" you imagine Mountain Dew executives asking, because otherwise what the living fuck.)
Along with being offensive to all those who find nothing funny about battered women—to say nothing of sassy talking goats—the ad has been deemed “arguably the most racist commercial in history” by social commentator Dr. Boyce Watkins, who sees it as yet another example of “media images that train black men to behave like animals,” this time more literally than usual. Watkins isn’t alone: Many people have decried its perpetuation of racial stereotypes, to the point where PepsiCo was forced, a mere 24 hours after its debut, to yank the ad and issue a statement reading, “We understand how this video could be perceived by some as offensive, and we apologize to those who were offended.” Of course, as with all things Odd Future, the debate now turns to whether being this offensive was the intention all along, given that it’s proven to be a fairly solid marketing strategy so far.
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