Social Media Uproar: Tyler The Creator's Moutain Dew Fail, Ford India, And The 'Accidental Racist'

Category: Media & Culture / May 03, 2013 10:48AM EDT
PepsiCo pulled an online ad for Mountain Dew on Wednesday (May 1) after criticism from bloggers that the spot embraced racial stereotypes and made light of violence toward women. The ad was developed by hip-hop artist Tyler the Creator and shows a battered white woman on crutches trying to pick out her assailant from a police lineup featuring five African-American men and a goat. PepsiCo did not pull an earlier commercial that showed the goat, called Felicia, attacking the woman after tasting a Mountain Dew at a restaurant. The woman was the goat's server. PepsiCo is not alone in its response to criticism on social media. In March, Ford India was forced to issue a statement over ads, uploaded by individuals within JWT India, a unit of WPP, the world's biggest advertising group. One of the advertising images shows former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, charged in Italy with paying for sex with a minor, sitting in the front seat of a Ford Figo hatchback flashing a victory sign, with a trio of half-dressed women bound and gagged in the trunk. Comments on Twitter and Facebook dismissed the ads as "shameful" and "disgusting". Public response to racism is not limited to advertising. Country singer Brad Paisley and rapper LL Cool J stirred up a storm with their musical collaboration on Paisley's new album. The song, titled "Accidental Racist," describes a hypothetical encounter between a Confederate flag-wearing white Southern man and an urban African-American man in a coffee shop. Critics disparaged the song's content and artistry. Paisley took to social media and the Ellen DeGeneres show to explain the song and respond to criticism. Video Source: Reuters