Tyler, the Creator breaks his silence on Mountain Dew’s recent decision to pull his “Felicia the Goat” commercial.
In a recent interview with Billboard, the OFWGKTA impresario addressed the controversy surrounding the commercial and discussed Dr. Boyce Watkin’s claim that it was “arguably the most racist commercial in history.” Tyler said that finds the allegations of racism to be ridiculous, but said that he does understand how the generation gap between him and Dr. Watkins could lead to a misunderstanding. He also added that the experience won’t change his art.
“I guess people are claiming that it’s racist, which… you know, that wasn’t even portrayed in that commercial, there’s no type of hate being portrayed in that work of art at all – which I’m confused by. But this older black dude, Dr. Boyce Watkins, I guess he found it racist because I was portraying stereotypes, which is ridiculous because, one, all of those dudes [in the line-up] are my friends. Two, they’re all basically in their own clothes…three, no [commenters] saw that commercial and said, this is racist. Everyone either said, “Wow, this is ridiculous, it’s a goat talking,” or they said, “Wow, this is the dumbest, why would they even make this?” So for [Watkins] to nitpick and notice that, clearly shows his state of mind is on some other sh– that I can’t comprehend…Then again, I look at it from his perspective. He’s an older black man. It’s a generation gap. He’s older than me. So the things that he had to experience with racism and stereotypes and being a black man in this country, is different from mine. I grew up in a generation where there’s white kids listening to rap and black kids playing hockey, breaking the norms and everything. He comes from a whole different state of mind when he sees that stuff. He probably was getting fucked with by white people when he was my age. So for him to always have to break the [stereotype] of being a “black thug” when he was growing up, and for him to see that in a commercial, it probably hurts him.”
He continued, “It’s not gonna change my art in any way. I just hope that somehow, if it gets bigger or if it disappears tomorrow, that it just opens people’s minds up. I just actually can’t believe that somebody sat there and pointed out that it was all black people, instead of being confused that it was a freaking goat talking. That’s mind-blowing. That’s mind-blowing that people still think like that. I’m standing here in the freaking sun, burning up on a freaking conference call when I could be out skating, all because of some black dude’s opinion that other people who can’t think for themselves followed.”