Yesterday, Tyler’s manager, Christian Clancy, provided further context on the goals and intentions of Tyler’s art, which can be viewed here. Today, Tyler, the Creator opens up to Billboard about the controversy that’s surrounded his latest Mountain Dew commercial.
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. It was originally supposed to be just two dudes, but Garrett from Trash Talk came with his friend and other people had showed up, so I just put all of them in that line-up, if you really wanna know the truth. 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, for him to actually sit there and for him to notice that it’s all blacks [in the lineup]. That wasn’t my intention.
It was crazy. It’s a black guy making this, and if it’s so racist and feeding into stereotypes, why in the first commercial that goes along with it, is there a black male with his Asian wife? In the second commercial, it’s a black male with a professional job as a police officer listening to hardcore rock music — which supposedly the stereotype is that black people don’t listen to that. The stereotypes are what I’m confused on, no one was even thinking about that. I was focused on that first zoom shot over their shoulders. That’s what I was stoked on. You know why? Cause I like film, and I like directing, and that’s where my heart was set. I wasn’t thinking, “Oh, let’s use all black [people]” or whatever. I wanted to use my friends. You know why? ‘Cause I don’t like using other actors. You can look at every one of my videos, and my friends are always in it. Saying that I’m racist — every video I got, Lucas is in it! He’s a little scrawny white kid. So what is this dude talking about?