PepsiCo has removed an online ad plugging its Mountain Dew soft drink after viewers complained that the spot –-- featuring a battered and terrified white woman trying to pick a suspect out of a lineup of black men -- was racist and misogynistic.
The minute-long commercial was developed by rapper Tyler, the Creator, who is black. He and Mountain Dew are removing the video from all their channels, according to a Mountain Dew statement.
“We apologize for this video and take full responsibility,” the company said.
The footage opens with a lineup of black men -- one wearing an eye patch -- with names such as Lil Musty and Beyonte, and a goat in a suit named Felicia.
From behind the glass, a white woman, bruised, on crutches and in a neck brace, is behooved by a white man in a suit carrying a Mountain Dew bottle to “nail this little sucker.” Felicia, meanwhile, is shown threatening the woman with lines such as “You better not snitch on a playa,” and “Snitches get stitches, boo.”
Then, this winner: “I’ma get out of here and I’ma do you up.” Supposedly, it’s a play on the “Dew” in Mountain Dew.
The woman gets progressively more agitated, finally crying, “I can’t do this,” before fleeing, screaming, “No,” along the way. As she exits, the suited white man takes a swig of his Mountain Dew and says, “She’s just gotta do it.”
Upon viewing the video, social commentator and author Boyce D. Watkins wrote that the ad was “a new low for corporate racism.”
“Their decision to lean on well-known racial stereotypes is beyond disgusting,” he wrote.