Singer Mary J. Blige is caught in a whopper of a controversy. An African-American Web site is criticizing her ad for Burger King, claiming it is beneath the “Queen of Hip Hop Soul.” The chain has pulled the ad, but not for the obvious reason.
Web site MadameNoire, which is orient toward black females wrote an open letter to the singer, calling her fast food ad “buffoonish.”
“Gurl, you know we love you… But we have no love whatsoever for the recent debacle you decided to lend your image and vocals to,” the site writes.
“Nothing could have prepared me for the utter buffoonery I saw in that commercial,” it said.
Blige sings passionately about chicken snack wraps in the commercial, which hit the Internet this week.
The commercial opens with a customer asking the manager what’s in Burger King’s new chicken snack wraps. As the manager begins to answer, Mary’s voice cuts in “What’s in the new chicken snack wraps?
The manager yields the floor to the “Queen of Hip-Hop Soul,” who’s standing on a table with a microphone. She begins singing…
“Chrispy Chicken, fresh lettuce, three cheeses… French dressing wrapped up in a tasty flour tortilla.”
Burger King said in a statement the commercial was pulled because of a licensing concern.
The company said it hopes to have the Blige “ads back on the air soon,” according to the Associated Press. Salma Hayek and Jay Leno, also are advertising the snack wraps, the company said.
“This is so beneath you,” the Web site continued. “This harmonizing about chicken is a move I would associate with someone whose glory days were far behind them. To make a bad situation worse, you used the melody from your own song “Don’t Mind.”
“This cannot happen again. You are the Queen of Hip Hop Soul, not a court jester for the so-called King of Burgers!”
Comments on the letter were mixed.
“The ad is wrong on so many levels: a major star lowering themselves to sell unhealthy fast food; the idea that ads have to have beats and dancing to attract people of color to the product; a poorly thought out story for the ad that’s a retread of similar ideas used in other fast food ads,” wrote one.
“People…chill. I don’t hear anybody screaming about Salma Halek, David Beckham or Jay Leno doing this promotion.”