April 5, 2012: On Tuesday, April 3rd a Burger King commercial that featured Mary J. Blige singing about the new Chicken Wrap appeared online this week and quickly disappeared. Why?
Miami, Florida based Burger King Officials told the Associated Press the commercial was pulled because of a licensing issue. The commercial uses the melody to “Don’t Mind,” a track off Blige’s 2011 record “My Life II... The Journey Continues (Act 1)”. According to Ad Age the commercial, featuring Blige, will be back soon. This is the official word on the matter.
Meanwhile, the “word on the street” (rumor) is: the commercial has been sharply criticized for its racist and stereotypical portrayal of the singer.
In the commercial, Blige stands on top of a table and sings about the Chicken Wrap. The Chicken Wrap is part of Burger King’s new menu. Blige describes what is inside the new item: “Crispy chicken, fresh lettuce, three cheeses, ranch dressing wrapped up in a tasty, flour tortilla” (from commercial).
Madame Noire, a publication for black women, wrote in a public letter about the commercial, saying it is “buffoonery” and “beneath” Blige. “Having a black woman sing about chicken was no mistake. They’re trying to reach the ‘urban’ demographic and they used you,” the letter states. “Because God knows black folk won’t buy anything unless there’s a song, and preferably a dance, attached to it.”
New York’s Touré, an American novelist, essayist, music journalist, cultural critic, and television personality; tweeted, “Mary J is presented as, and accepted as, a special person who represents the people. To see her sing for chicken is jarring.” (Post)
Blige has not responded to the issue, as of the point this report was submitted.
Is the commercial racist or stereotypical?
View the commercial Here
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Sources: YouTube, SophiaPetrillosBuddy, Washington Post