Mary J. Blige is less than happy with a Burger King® ad she filmed which seems to evoke racial stereotypes about African Americans and fried chicken.
Fans protested in droves when an early cut of the ad, for BK’s new crispy chicken wrap, was posted on YouTube. It shows the hip-hop artist singing about the new product.
In an open letter to Mary J., the black women-oriented website Madame Noire likened the ad it to "buffoonery."
Addressing Mary J. directly, the letter says, “having a black woman sing about chicken was no mistake," writes Renay Alize, "they're trying to reach the 'urban' (aka black) demographic and they used you.”
Mary J. tells TMZ, “I agreed to be a part of a fun and creative campaign that was supposed to feature a dream sequence. Unfortunately, that's not what was happening in that clip.”
She adds, “I understand my fans being upset by what they saw. But, if you’re a Mary fan, you have to know I would never allow an unfinished spot like the one you saw go out."
BK says ad was released prematurely in a statement that does not directly address the ad’s controversial imagery.
“The Mary J. Blige advertisement was pulled off of the Burger King YouTube channel due to a music-licensing issue, which Burger King is in the process of resolving,” BK says in a statement posted by Ad Age.
“We would like to apologize to Mary J. and all of her fans for airing an ad that was not final,” the statement reads.
The fast food emporium quickly yanked the ad from YouTube, but TMZ and other news sources have posted copies.
Give it a gander. Do you find it distasteful?