An online video promoting Mountain Dew that stars members of the Los Angeles-based hip hop collective Odd Future is being called racist and misogynistic.
The 59-second ad depicts a detective drinking a Mountain Dew while prodding a bruised and beaten white woman to pick out her attacker from a lineup of four black men – members of Odd Future – and a goat.
The ad first appeared on Odd Future's YouTube channel and has since been taken down. In a statement, Mountain Dew said it takes "full responsibility" for the video and has removed the spot from all its channels.
Odd Future musician Tyler the Creator said in a recent interview that he met with company representatives about his idea for a goat commercial and got it budgeted.
From the woman’s demeanor and the goat’s dialogue in the line-up video, it’s clear the animal is responsible for her wounds.
The woman in the latest video appears as a waitress giving the goat a Mountain Dew in an earlier video by the same group. Thirsty for more soda, the goat smacks the woman in the face with its hooves and chases her.
“Ya better not snitch on a playa,” the goat says in a scruffy voice from behind the one-way glass in the line-up video.
Shaking and scared, the woman repeatedly tells the officer she cannot choose before hastily hobbling away on crutches.
“He’s the one wearing a do-rag,” the officer tells the woman. He then says, “Come on, it’s the one with the four legs.”
Author and social commentator Dr. Boyce Watkins called the video “arguably the most racist commercial in history,” saying the video compares black men to animals and plays on stereotypes.
Mountain Dew, which is owned by PepsiCo, released the following statement to NBC4 on Wednesday:
"We understand how this video could be perceived by some as offensive, and we apologize to those who were offended. We have removed the video from all Mountain Dew channels and have been informed that Tyler (the Creator) is removing it from his channels as well."
In a second statement, the company said:
"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."
The ad was not intended to air on television, according to Jennifer Ryan, spokeswoman for PepsiCo.
Messages to group members seeking comment were not returned by the time of publication.
This is apparently the third of a series of videos featuring the goat -- named Felicia, and born from a lyric by Odd Future's Tyler the Creator -- as a Mountain Dew fanatic, and scofflaw.
"They Let My Stupid Ideas Come To Life, Thanks Dew!" Tyler the Creater tweeted in March after the release of the earlier waitress video.
He also spoke about working with Mountain Dew in an interview posted on HotNewHipHop.com, saying he was skeptical that the company would green-light his idea.
"Next thing I know I’m at the editing bay putting together cuts," he said. "It dawned on me like finally someone looked past the rape, or the devil worshiping or the immaturity which is evident in the commercial. And they actually gave me a chance and let me be [expletive] 7 years old with their product."
In a separate video from the series, the goat is pulled over by a police officer after speeding past his squad car. After acting suspicious and pleading with the officer not to look in the car’s trunk, the officer opens the trunk to find a trove of empty Mountain Dew bottles.
“Looks like we have a case of ‘Dew'-U-I,” the officer says as the goat runs away.
At the end of each video, a still image of the goat appears with a link to loitersquad.com – the website for a sketch comedy show on Adult Swim. Now in its second season, the show stars members of Odd Future.
In 2011, Tyler the Creator was hit in the face by a Mountain Dew bottle at a concert, according to the music blog Stereogum.