PepsiCo is cutting its ties with Lil Wayne following his offensive reference to Emmett Till.
According to the associated press, a statement from Pepsi revealed that Wayne's "offensive reference to a revered civil rights icon does not reflect the values of our brand," which has led the brand to end its endorsements with the rapper.
Sarah Cunningham, a publicist for weezy stated that the parting was amicable, and due to "creative differences". To which she added "That's about all I can tell you at this time."
This is the second controversy involving a rapper that PepsiCo has actively responded to this week, coming shortly after taking a Tyler, The Creator ad down after it was called "the most racist commercial ever made".
There is still no confirmation on whether the Till family's dissatisfaction with Wayne's "apology" is the root of the issue.
More coverage to come as information arrives.
[Update: Till Family Reacts To Drop]
Following the announcement of Lil Wayne's departure from PesiCo sponsorship, Airickca Gordon-Taylor, Executive Director of Mamie Till Mobley Foundation released a statement commending the choice.
“Back in February, when I first heard the lyrics, I was in utter shock, disappointment and sadness. Just as Mamie Till Mobley didn’t endure the pain of losing Emmett Till alone, many people have stood in solidarity with our family, even if it wasn’t the most popular stand to take.
“The road less traveled is surely not the easiest but standing for your principles provides the endurance needed to fight for human and civil rights. This decision was monumental, we commend Mountain Dew for taking action towards better social responsibility, and now I finally feel that we can exhale and focus on our beloved Mamie Till Mobley’s charge, ”Let’s get on with the business of positive thinking and living”.
Simeon Wright, who was an eyewitness to the kidnapping of Emmett Till, also supported PepsiCo's decision, but was impressed that the company would sever ties with such a big name over a moral issue.
“This is beyond my expectations, I’m pleased that it happened and it shouldn’t waited for public outcry. Anything that belittles or degrades the memory of Emmett Till shouldn’t be in the public square,” Wright said. “Racism is still out there. Whatever you listen too, whatever you do, get an education. ‘Don’t let this system destroy you.’”
Hard to say if the results would have been different had Wayne delivered a proper apology prior to the threat of losing endorsements.