Offensive Ad of the Day: Mountain Dew

Mountain Dew pulled an ad that was deemed racist and sexist. This one seems to jump, rather than cross, the line. A badly bruised woman is asked to identify someone in a police line-up of African-American men-and a goat.

Felicia the Goat, with the voice of rapper Tyler The Creator, made his first appearance in Mountain Dew commercials in March. In an earlier episode, the goat beats up the waitress for failing to give him enough soda. As one might expect, the ad was criticized for being misogynistic. Because bad things come in threes, Mountain Dew has another commercial set to air on May 24.

In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, PepsiCo has taken responsibility for the ad:

"We apologize for this video and take full responsibility. We have removed it from all Mountain Dew channels and Tyler is removing it from his channels as well."

A representative for Tyler The Creator released a statement to The Hollywood Reporter:

"It was never Tyler's intention to offend however, offense is personal and valid to anyone who is offended. Out of respect to those that were offended the ad was taken down," it said. "For those who know and respect Tyler he is known for pushing boundaries and challenging stereotypes through humor. This is someone who grew up on David Chappelle. This situation is layered with context and is a discussion that Tyler would love to address in the right forum as he does have a point of view."

"Contrary to what many may discern from this Tyler is the embodiment of not judging others, his delivery may not be for everyone (which is true for anyone who pushes boundaries) but his voice is nonetheless important to the conversation since his demographic understands what he ultimately stands for and sees the irony of it all," continued the statement.

"He absolutely never intended to spark a controversy about race," it read. "It was simply an again admittedly absurd story that was never meant to be taken seriously. Again we apologize if this was taken out of context and would never trivialize racism, especially now in America where voting and civil rights are being challenged at the highest level."

Discussion Starters:

  • What's your view of the first two commercials? Do you find them offensive, funny, or something else?
  • PepsiCo's response differs from the recent McDonald's and Hyundai situations, where the companies said ads were created without their approval. Does PepsiCo's response work better?