The recent uproar about the Burger King commercial featuring Mary. J. Blige caused the spot to be pulled off of the air because it was called racist, but is it really? I read an interesting article by Aisha Harris from Slate.com discussing how the commercial was indeed ridiculous, but not racist. I had to agree and also wonder if Black people are just all but too eager to call something racist.

Race issues have always been a touchy topic with a thin line that advertisers have to try their hardest not to cross. In terms of the Burger King commercial, were we more upset about it being so called “racist” or about how it would make us look to a white audience?

Harris states in her piece that,


“It is short-sighted—and frankly, insulting to Blige—to attribute the Burger King spot to “coonery.” Burger King has been honing its cheesy advertising chops for years, most famously with their creepy corporeal version of the “King”; Blige is clearly in on the camp factor of the commercial. And other recent ads have far surpassed this one in ignorantly deploying racial stereotypes.

So why the uproar this time? Perhaps the answer has to do with the ad’s intended audience. Unlike the many fast-food commercials aimed specifically at black audiences, usually found on black-targeted networks like BET, the Blige ad features a mostly white supporting cast. It is meant to appeal to a “mainstream” (read: white) audience; some of the ad’s critics seem worried about the way it might make black people look to white people.”

This commercial was very stereotypical and just plain dumb. Like Harris points out, there have been numerous other commercials with Blacks singing happily about fried chicken, but they were reserved for Black television channels. If singing about fried chicken is racist than there should be protests about many other commercials and not just this one.

Calling something racist is very serious and the word shouldn’t be used lightly. This commercial was an embarrassment, much like Flavor Flav’s ads for his new fried chicken spot, but racist may be a bit far fetched.

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  • modern lady

    Why is liking fried chicken racist? I’m with Dave Chappelle on this-I, like most people, like fried chicken b/c it is delicious! Not b/c I’m black. If someone paid me $2 million to sing about it-I’m sorry Black folks, that money would’ve gone str8 into my pocket.

  • Jess

    There’s nothing racist about this commercial. it’s just silly and kinda funny.

  • hatelies

    Everytime Blacks lag behind others — and that happens just about everywhere, it’s attributed to their “social, economic political disadvantage”. What disadvantage? Blacks enjoy more govrnment, academic, economic, social imagery pop-up than any other groups and the extent of such unfair previlege is disgusting! Some with Obama’s qualification could never dream of being a prsident if he was not black. Yet, to the blacks it’s still/never enough. Yet the majority of blacks continue to consume state resources and be a huge burden to the country – for generations. We all know girls and boys are differently built from the inside, why would we be lead by liberalism gone wacky to think that all races are exactly the same in everyway? The balcks don’t beleieve it themselves (white men cant jump). We all need to be honest to ourselves in recognizing the real reason why there’s more criminality, unemployment, hatred, disease, dishonesty, ugliness, poverty, jealousy of others… in blacks. Believe me, mistreatment, disadvantgae, historical baggages AREN’T the reasons. Look at the poor, helpless new immigrants who don’t have free housing food, education, healthcare, … all blood sucking advantages the blacks enjoying. Within one generation, look where each would stand (blakcs are strongest opponents of immigrants).