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Tyler, The Creator Defends His “Racist” Mountain Dew Commercial

Written by Marc Zanotti on May 3, 2013

Tyler, the Creator has said the allegations of racism made against the Mountain Dew commercial he directed won’t affect the way he approaches his art. The ad in question was pulled by Mountain Dew after political analyst Dr. Boyce Watkins labelled it as “arguably the most racist commercial in history”.

The final ad in a 3-part series, Dr Watkins took offence to the commercial that featured an all black male police lineup, which Watkins argued reinforced negative African-American stereotypes. In an interview with Billboard, Tyler defended his position and the commercial’s intent:

“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.

“If it’s so racist and feeding into stereotypes why, in the first commercial that goes along with it, is there a black male with his Asian wife? In the second commercial, it’s a black male with a professional job as a police officer listening to hardcore rock music.

“It’s not gonna change my art in any way. I just hope that somehow, if it gets bigger or if it disappears tomorrow, that it just opens people’s minds up.”

Following Dr Waktins’ comments Tyler offered to have a conversation with Watkins via Twitter. After Tyler’s offer, Watkins has since dulled down his initial outrage after investigating further into the Odd Future member’s music.

Taking to his Twitter account Dr Watkins posted that he no longer feels Tyler created the commercial with deliberate racist intent. That said Watkins still maintains the ad does reinforce stereotypes and is happy Mountain Dew pulled the commercial.

Yesterday, Odd Future manager Christian Clancy took to his Tumblr, posting a statement in which he claims no offense was intended in regards to the provocative Mountain Dew commercial but apologised for any offense that it caused.

Tyler is touring Australia alongside fellow Odd Future member Earl Sweatshirt this June. Tickets go on sale at 9am Tuesday, 7th May.

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