Tyler, the Creator isn’t new to controversy. But it seems like the blowback over his Mountain Dew ad, which was pulled after protests that it was racist, even took him by surprise.
In the 60-second commercial in question, and older white woman is shown a police line up that includes a bunch of Tyler’s friends, who happen to be Black, and a goat. The woman is Dr. Boyce Watkins believed the spot played into stereotypes and deemed it racist, and many agreed. PepsiCo, which owns Mountain Dew, pulled the spot.
The Odd Future frontman spoke to Billboard about the situation and as usual was candid with his responses.
I guess people are claiming that it’s racist, which… you know, that wasn’t even portrayed in that commercial, there’s no type of hate being portrayed in that work of art at all — which I’m confused by. But this older black dude, Dr. Boyce Watkins, I guess he found it racist because I was portraying stereotypes, which is ridiculous because, one, all of those dudes [in the line-up] are my friends. Two, they’re all basically in their own clothes. It was originally supposed to be just two dudes, but Garrett from Trash Talk came with his friend and other people had showed up, so I just put all of them in that line-up, if you really wanna know the truth. 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?” So for [Watkins] to nitpick and notice that, clearly shows his state of mind is on some other sh– that I can’t comprehend, for him to actually sit there and for him to notice that it’s all blacks [in the lineup]. That wasn’t my intention.
Read the rest of the Billboard interview with Tyler, and Odd Future manager Christian Clancy, right here.
Photo: Ernest Estime