There was not a wealth of great ads this Super Bowl but some of the worst came courtesy of Pepsi and their Pepsi Max drink. These ads gave audiences such insightful lessons as “men totally like sex” and “aluminum cans hurt when applied to a man’s testicles.” Brilliant, brilliant stuff that totally isn’t too old and lame for the year 2011. Their other ad featured the lesson “women are nagging shrews” and ended with a black couple torn asunder by an attractive white woman. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee has called the ad “racist.” But why? Don’t worry. If you don’t understand, Rush Limbaugh is here to very bluntly explain the racial subtext of the ad.
Take it away, Rush:
“One of the biggest pet peeves black women have, in recent decades, is black men marrying or pairing up with white women. It just bugs ’em, particularly if they happen to be blonde. That’s lighting the fuze. There’s already a bomb there but, if the white woman happens to be blonde, that just… They’re taken off the market. Another black guy gone from the marketplace of available men. So the Pepsi ad has a white woman getting decked by a can of Pepsi thrown by a black woman. A homerun if you understand the demographics here.”
Well…he’s not wrong. Clearly, with both Limbaugh and Jackson Lee noticing it, there is a definite racial undertone to the ad. Of course, his implication seems to be that Pepsi is profitting off a black hatred of whites and I don’t think it’s nearly sinister. This is more a case of cynicism. Like all the other Pepsi ads, this was just playing off an old stereotype. Black men love blonde, white women? Gee, I didn’t realize I was watching a UPN sitcom from the early 90s.
Don’t get me wrong. The Tyler Perry oeuvre and movies like Obsessed have kept the “white temptress” archetype firmly in American pop culture, but, come on! I disagree with both Limbaugh and Jackson Lee. The commercial isn’t racist and it’s certainly not successful.
It’s just lazy.
Check out the audio from Limbaugh’s show below and the original commercial below that:
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