Tyler, The Creator explains in-depth his commercial and defends it from criticisms of racism.
Yesterday Tyler, The Creator took to Twitter to say a few words in capslock about Mountain Dew pulling his commercials. We also heard from Tyler's manager, Christian Clancy, by way of his Tumblr page. Today both the rapper and manager have spoken to Billboard for a more in-depth interview about the Mountain Dew commercials.
Tyler's manager spoke on how the Mountain Dew partnership came about, before the rapper/director spoke on his initial idea for the ad, and how it developped from there.
Tyler explained how the ad in no way portrayed any racism, and all the guys pictured in the line-up were just his friends who happened to be around that day.
"It was just a goat who liked Mountain Dew. He wanted more. The waitress lady got hurt. He got pulled over by the cops, and the lady points out the goat [in the line-up], who obviously attacked her because of the Mountain Dew. And that's it.
I guess people are claiming that it's racist, which... you know, that wasn't even portrayed in that commercial, there's no type of hate being portrayed in that work of art at all -- which I'm confused by. But this older black dude, 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. It was originally supposed to be just two dudes, but Garrett from Trash Talk came with his friend and other people had showed up, so I just put all of them in that line-up, if you really wanna know the truth. Three, no [commenters] saw that commercial and said, this is racist. Everyone either said, “Wow, this is ridiculous, it's a goat talking,” or they said, “Wow, this is the dumbest, why would they even make this?” So for [Watkins] to nitpick and notice that, clearly shows his state of mind is on some other sh-- that I can't comprehend, for him to actually sit there and for him to notice that it's all blacks [in the lineup]. That wasn't my intention."
Tyler continued to both explain and defend his commercial, "It was crazy. It's a black guy making this, and 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 -- which supposedly the stereotype is that black people don't listen to that. The stereotypes are what I'm confused on, no one was even thinking about that. I was focused on that first zoom shot over their shoulders. That's what I was stoked on. You know why? Cause I like film, and I like directing, and that's where my heart was set. I wasn't thinking, “Oh, let's use all black [people]” or whatever. I wanted to use my friends. You know why? ‘Cause I don't like using other actors. You can look at every one of my videos, and my friends are always in it. Saying that I'm racist -- every video I got, Lucas is in it! He's a little scrawny white kid. So what is this dude talking about?"
The Odd Future member also addressed Felicia, The Goat, who is in the Mountain Dew commercial, and the context of the ad. Tyler doesn't want you to read to deep in to it, "It's just a goat. I just think a goat is funny. It's no deeper meaning. They said, "Tyler, you can come up with any commercial that you want." I said, "You wanna know what's funny to me and my friends? An animal talking." Why? Cause animals don't talk in real life, so let's make an animal talk. What's a funny animal? A fucking goat."
Check out the full interview with Tyler and Christian here.