Though you can’t currently see the video of the controversial Burger King commercial featuring Mary J. Blige currently online, bloggers and news outlets are abuzz with opinions about its effectiveness.
The crux of the controversy is explained and excused here by Gawker:
The stereotype perpetuation of a black woman espousing the virtues of fried chicken is never a pleasant thing to behold, although Octavia Spencer didn’t cause much of an uproar for saying in The Help (for which she won an Oscar), “Frying chicken just tend to make you feel better about life” in a scene that was not intended to make you want to kill yourself.
The rumor mill was fueled after YouTube pulled the ad from its site, only to give its reasoning for doing so as a licensing issue with Burger King.
Is there a double standard that calls out a black woman as a spokesperson for a restaurant selling chicken? Three other celebrities (David Beckham, Jay Leno, and Salma Hayek) are also featured in similar ads for the fast food chain’s latest campaign, but there’s no apparent controversy around their endorsements of the food.
But as the video went viral, some in the black community criticized the ad as stereotypical. The black women-oriented website Madame Noire likened it to “buffoonery.” -oshkoshhub
The sensitivities of any minority group is heightened when it feels that a stereotype has been exploited. But are the critics of this particular Burger King commercial featuring Mary J. Blige overly sensitive? Or are the sensitivities justified?
Angie Lynch is the founder and managing editor of the powerhouse women’s literary community, Smut Book Club. She is a Native Floridian without a tan, probably because she spends her days hard at work on the magical internet. For the past several years, Angie has worked way too hard at building clout as an influencer in food and margaritas as well as being a source for laughable pop culture commentary. You can read more from Angie on her blog, A Whole Lot of Nothing.
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