A new Burger King ad that features Mary J. Blige singing about a chicken wrap appeared online this week, then quickly disappeared. Now we know the official reason why.
The fast food company told the Associated Press the ad was pulled over a licensing issue. The company expects to have the commercial — which uses the melody to “Don’t Mind,” a track off Blige’s 2011 record “My Life II... The Journey Continues (Act 1)” — back up soon, according to Ad Age.
Licensing issue aside, the commercial has been sharply criticized for its portrayal of the singer.
In the ad, which can be viewed here, Blige stands on top of a table turned stage and sings about the chicken wrap, which is part of Burger King’s new menu. She explains what’s inside the item: “Crispy chicken, fresh lettuce, three cheeses, ranch dressing wrapped up in a tasty, flour tortilla.”
Madame Noire, a lifestyle publication for black women, wrote an open letter about the ad, saying it is “buffoonery” and “beneath” Blige.
“Having a black woman sing about chicken was no mistake. They’re trying to reach the ‘urban’ (aka black) demographic and they used you,” the letter states. “Because God knows black folk won’t buy anything unless there’s a song, and preferably a dance, attached to it.”
Blige has not responded to the criticism. Update: Blige has released a statement. Read it here.
Jay Leno and Salma Hayek also appear in new Burger King commercials promoting the snack wrap, as well as a strawberry-banana smoothie and a salad. David Beckham’s commercial focuses just on the smoothie.
Their ads are still available on Burger King’s YouTube channel.