Every now and then, a celebrity gets busted for saying something you might describe as racially insensitive. Like when John Mayer said, "If (I) really had a hood pass, you could call it a n***er pass. (…) My dick is sort of like a white supremacist. I’ve got a Benetton heart and a f***ing David Duke cock." Or when Ashton Kutcher channeled his worst Apu-from-Kwik-E-Mart accent in that Popchips ad.
Of course, some celebrities just go the full offensive nine yards, like that night when Seinfeld's Michael Kramer lost his damn mind during a standup routine and started screaming, "Fifty years ago we'd have you upside down with a f***ing fork up your ass. Throw his ass out. He's a n***er! He's a n***er! He's a n***er!" Or, you know, everything Mel Gibson's ever said while drunk.
Out of all the stars who have ever been caught up in a racial controversy, though, I don't think I've ever heard anything as crazy as the crapstorm over Mary J. Blige's Burger King commercial.
Back in April, Burger King released a commercial that featured Mary J. Blige singing about chicken snack wraps. Now, before I even tell you anything about what happened next, I'd like you to watch the ad:
That exact commercial caused quite a stir online, with critics saying that the ad was disrespectful, racist, and stereotypical. There was so much backlash, in fact, that the spot was pulled just days later, with Burger King citing a licensing concern as the reason.
We would like to apologize to Mary J. and all of her fans for airing an ad that was not final. We know how important Mary J. is to her fans, and we are currently in the process of finalizing the commercial. We hope to have the final ad on the air soon.
Notably, it never aired again.
The craziest thing of all? This week, Mary J. Blige actually APOLOGIZED for the ad:
It was a mistake, but I did it because I thought it was something that wouldn't come out like that. It was sold to us that I would be shot in an iconic way ... It hurt my feelings. It crushed me for like two days (…) I want to apologize to everyone who was offended who thought I would do something that was so disrespectful to our culture. I would never do anything like that. I thought I was doing something right.
Okay. Okay okay okay okay. I realize I may not exactly be an authority on the subject of racism, but … this is insane, right? The ad is offensive because Mary J. Blige is singing about chicken? Does the Burger King crispy chicken snack wrap really represent years of oppression and slavery? Isn't it more racist for the critics to have instantly connected a woman of color with a food stereotype in this way? SHOULDN'T WE ALL GET A GRIP AND WORRY ABOUT REAL PROBLEMS, FTLOG?
Really, the only thing about the ad that seems remotely embarrassing for Blige is the fact that it's dumb and cheesy and makes her look like she's about five minutes from begging to be on Dancing With the Stars. But racist? No. I don't get it. Not even a little bit. Frankly, I can't believe she apologized for it instead of telling her critics exactly where to cram their moral outrage.
Do you think this ad is racist?
Image via YouTube