April 5, 2012

"Mary J. Blige and Burger King apologize for fried chicken ad..."

... after the ad is criticized as racial "buffoonery."

Why can't Mary J. Blige do a comic performance in an ad for a fast-food restaurant? I'm sure they paid her a lot of money and that she was well represented and uncoerced. What really is the problem?

Here's the criticism that appeared on a website aimed at black women:
... I know you may be thinking everybody, across the world, loves chicken. It’s true, most people get down with the poultry; but as a black woman, singing passionately about chicken is not the move!...

Burger King got you gurl.... They hurriedly throw together clich├ęd, often stereotypical, advertising campaigns. And that’s where you came in, Mary. Having a black woman sing about chicken was no mistake. They’re trying to reach the “urban” (aka black) demographic. And God knows black folk, won’t buy anything unless there’s a song, and preferably a dance, attached to it.
With all the angst about racial stereotypes in the past few weeks, there might be some value to analyzing this relatively lightweight incident.

34 comments:

rhhardin said...

If you're offended, you're important again. That's the payoff.

In the background, you're creating a new stereotype: blacks are a bunch of morons.

That's the unintended consequence.

Real American said...

so it's racist to have black people sing about chicken, but isn't it also racist to say that black people can't or shouldn't sing about chicken because they're black?

As a society, we need to get to the point that it's just a stupid commercial. Lighten up, already.

Curious George said...

So good!

bagoh20 said...

Are we gonna continue to let these whiners ruin everything all the time over nothing but their unquenchable desire for racial acknowledgment.

I'm tired of acknowledging your race. Look in the mirror. Yes, we all can tell. We could tell yesterday and we can tell tomorrow.

It does not make you special or even different any longer.

There are only two races that matter anymore: the decent and the indecent. They both like chicken so, pick one.

Matthew said...

Gurl?

They really wrote gurl?

n.n said...

The individual responding is enjoining others to share their prejudice. It's an example of the "crabs in the bucket" phenomenon.

JAL said...

It used to be a big deal that blacks were not represented in TV ads. Now there are blacks everywhere, and Burger King uses a black woman and everyone gets a hissy fit.

Maybe someone can get an outrage out of black women pitching household cleaning products.

And those Cialis ads? Yee gad! What might one make of that!

(Sorry. Missed the preview button the first time around.)

Gene said...

I can't believe anyone was offended by this unless he/she was already primed to be offended by anything. It wasn't even so much a heavy duty commercial as your day in, day out fluff. If it hadn't been singled out as racist I wouldn't have thought anything about it one way or the other.

Actually, I did have one passing thought when it started. The white guy asking about the chicken was the typical clueless white bread guy you always see in commercials. But so many commercials do this it hardly rates a second thought.

ricpic said...

Looks like Mary didn't take but a sec to be down with the sistas and blamin' the white execs at Burger King for putting out an "unfinished" ad. Translation: Mary did her part, sang whatever she sang for a handsome paycheck and coulda cared less about the finished product, which is just the white man's foolishness in any case.

Pogo said...

Looks like someone forgot to pay Jesse and Al upfront like usual.

David said...

I guess this leaves all the watermelon ads to white singers.

kimsch said...

David, but make sure not to mention chicken and/or waffles with that watermelon...

edutcher said...

Maybe it's me, but the criticism sounds more demeaning to blacks than whatever the ad did.

Race hustlers are as hard on their own as they are on white people.

That's why you hardly saw Hop Sing after the first season of "Bonanza".

Michael said...

I personally enjoy fried chicken and i go to a place owned by black people and i order the fried chicken and i sit down with the black people and eat my fried chicken. And they eat theirs. It is delicious and wonderful and we are all happy for the people who eat it and those who cook it. The person or persons making the eating of fried chicken by black people a stereotype have obviously never eaten this chicken. They should fuck themselves while they are at it.

Sorun said...

I've said it before: Morgan Freeman should be the only black on TV. He could do every show and every commercial. He'll always act dignified and says something wise-sounding.

Then everyone will like black people, and no one will laugh at their buffoonry

EMD said...

The only reason to apologize is because the ad is terrible. It's stupid and asinine. You sign Mary J. Blige to do a spot for you and this is what you come up with?

The account needs to go up for review. McGarryBowen's creative isn't very good.

EMD said...

Also it's funny to note that of the 18 principals shown on McGarryBowen's site, 14 are white men ... the other 4 are white women.

Still, I don't find the ad racially insensitive. Just insipid.

granmary said...

Black people make themselves appear ridiculous by taking offense at everything. Are they so lacking in itelligence that they really buy into the scam being perpetrated by the race hustlers like Jackson & Sharpton? Are they not smart enough to figure out how the race-baiting leftist media pundits use black people to further their own political agenda while silently holding them in contempt for being so easily manipulated?

John M Auston said...

The double standard is beyond absurd now. Check this out from today.

Drudge headline that causes nary a whisper:

"Jesse Jackson calls on blacks to wear hoodies to polling places..."

But change the person, the race reference, and drop the "ie", and you get:

"David Duke calls on all whites to wear hoods to polling places."

What do you suppose would happen to that headline? Yet it is virtually the same thing.

Fr Martin Fox said...

OK...I'm a 50-year-old middle-class white guy...

And I'm not seeing what's offensive about the ad.

It doesn't make me think bad things about anybody; I liked the singer's voice, I guess it's silly to have some talented singer deliver a torch song about food--but that is pretty routine in ads.

So...what? Explain--if you believe this ad is bad--why it's bad. I'm a stupid white guy, so explain it to me. I'm not seeing it. Help me raise my consciousness, I haven't worked on that in awhile.

Anyone?

Luke Lea said...

Watched it on YouTube. What's wrong with it?

MikeDC said...

With all the angst about racial stereotypes in the past few weeks, there might be some value to analyzing this relatively lightweight incident.

Value to who? If you're white, your analysis will lead you to be called a racist. Or call other people racists.

If you're black, your analysis will lead you to be called an Uncle Tom, or to tell other people they're Uncle Toms.

Perhaps the better solution is to stop analyzing everything...

Jane said...

True story -- I used to work for a non-profit charity group.

One day a black woman called in, distraught over the starving kids in Africa.

She asked me why we couldn't just send them some fried chicken.

There are some foods that different cultures like more of, right? Southerners like black-eyed peas, northerners like corned beef and sauerkraut and so forth.

I think of fried chicken as more of a southern food (Colonel Sanders) and we think of black people as more living in the south maybe. I guess that's why it's sensitive to bring it up.

ampersand said...

Burger King should offer Kobe beef and lobster. It's the new black.

el polacko said...

i suppose there could be a case made had the ad shown a wide-grinning mary j saying something like "ah sho does likes me some fry chickens!!" but she sang a little jingle about chicken WRAPS...not even fried...so are wraps a new racial stereotype ?? =

William said...

On the PBS Newshour tonight they had a segment on homophobia in Uganda. They interviewed a Ugandan who claimed that there weren't any gays and, if there were, it's because they had been exposed to and corrupted by western culture. The PBS segment seemed to indicate that much of the homophobia was started by white Christian evangelists who preached that homosexuality was a sin. There you have it: homosexuality is caused by exposure to white culture, and homophobia is caused by white preachers. You've got to admit that whites really are clever.....Why is liking fried chicken a negative stereotype? It's not like it's curry or ground chickpeas or that other crap that Indians like.

dbp said...

I don't really see a problem with the ad. The customer is a white guy and the manager of the store respectfully introduces the singer.

The jingle is more-or-less insipid, but it is a fast food commercial--was someone expecting Rimsky-Korsakov?

Geoff Matthews said...

Popeye's uses a black lady to sell their chicken. She doesn't sing, but she's definitely selling.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

I was once lost in an urban neighborhood when I found myself suddenly stuck in traffic. The right lane was essentially stopped. Oh, it inched forward a little now and then, but it wasn't moving.

So I eased into the left lane and drove past. And what did I find? A two-block line-up to get into Popeye's Fried Chicken. Meanwhile, the McDonald's across the street had two cars in its drive through lane.

Maybe Popeye's had a sale that day. Maybe that McDonald's was really bad, and all the locals knew it. Maybe all those drivers weren't black (though the ones I could see were).

Or maybe, yes, the locals there really prefer fried chicken over the alternative.

Stereotypes are bad when you use them as an excuse to categorize or judge an individual. But stereotypes can also reflect some truth.

Shanna said...

Popeye's uses a black lady to sell their chicken. She doesn't sing, but she's definitely selling.

Somebody does sing 'love that chicken from popeyes' at the end.

What self respecting person would go to burger king for fried chicken anyway when you could hit a popeyes anyway?

raf said...

So here's my problem: I like fried chicken and I like waffles and I love watermelon... But I'm not black, so I'm probably doing something wrong.

ken in sc said...

How about fish sandwiches? Or fried catfish and hush puppies? BBQ ribs?Would it be OK for blacks to sing about them?

Firehand said...

This is the kind of crap idiots pretend is important because they have no real problems in their lives.

And because it helps make SURE 'racism' doesn't go away.

walter said...

Far more concerning is

"It’s true, most people get down with the poultry"

I hope this is not widely practiced.
I men..can chickens legally consent or is this a moment for PETA or ACLU? (The other ACLU)